Published at Friday, September 13th 2019. by Images Collector in Kitchen.
A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation in a dwelling or in a commercial establishment. The name is derived from the french translation of ‘Cooking Room’. A modern middle-class residential kitchen is typically equipped with a stove, a sink with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator, and worktops and kitchen cabinets arranged according to a modular design. Many households have a microwave oven, a dishwasher, and other electric appliances. The main functions of a kitchen are to store, prepare and cook food (and to complete related tasks such as dishwashing). The room or area may also be used for dining (or small meals such as breakfast), entertaining and laundry. The design and construction of kitchens is a huge market all over the world.
Freed from smoke and dirt, the living room thus began to serve as an area for social functions and increasingly became a showcase for the owners wealth. In the upper classes, cooking and the kitchen were the domain of the servants, and the kitchen was set apart from the living rooms, sometimes even far from the dining room. Poorer homes often did not yet have a separate kitchen; they kept the one-room arrangement where all activities took place, or at the most had the kitchen in the entrance hall.
The trend to increasing gasification and electrification continued at the turn of the 20th century. In industry, it was the phase of work process optimization. Taylorism was born, and time-motion studies were used to optimize processes. These ideas also spilled over into domestic kitchen architecture because of a growing trend that called for a professionalization of household work, started in the mid-19th century by Catharine Beecher and amplified by Christine Fredericks publications in the 1910s.
With the advent of the chimney, the hearth moved from the center of the room to one wall, and the first brick-and-mortar hearths were built. The fire was lit on top of the construction; a vault underneath served to store wood. Pots made of iron, bronze, or copper started to replace the pottery used earlier. The temperature was controlled by hanging the pot higher or lower over the fire, or placing it on a trivet or directly on the hot ashes. Using open fire for cooking (and heating) was risky; fires devastating whole cities occurred frequently.
The medieval smoke kitchen (or Farmhouse kitchen) remained common, especially in rural farmhouses and generally in poorer homes, until much later. In a few European farmhouses, the smoke kitchen was in regular use until the middle of the 20th century. These houses often had no chimney, but only a smoke hood above the fireplace, made of wood and covered with clay, used to smoke meat. The smoke rose more or less freely, warming the upstairs rooms and protecting the woodwork from vermin.
Gas pipes were first laid in the late 19th century, and gas stoves started to replace the older coal-fired stoves. Gas was more expensive than coal, though, and thus the new technology was first installed in the wealthier homes. Where workers apartments were equipped with a gas stove, gas distribution would go through a coin meter. In rural areas, the older technology using coal or wood stoves or even brick-and-mortar open fireplaces remained common throughout. Gas and water pipes were first installed in the big cities; small villages were connected only much later.
In contrast, there were no dramatic changes for the upper classes. The kitchen, located in the basement or the ground floor, continued to be operated by servants. In some houses, water pumps were installed, and some even had kitchen sinks and drains (but no water on tap yet, except for some feudal kitchens in castles). The kitchen became a much cleaner space with the advent of "cooking machines", closed stoves made of iron plates and fired by wood and increasingly charcoal or coal, and that had flue pipes connected to the chimney. For the servants the kitchen continued to also serve as a sleeping room; they slept either on the floor, or later in narrow spaces above a lowered ceiling, for the new stoves with their smoke outlet no longer required a high ceiling in the kitchen. The kitchen floors were tiled; kitchenware was neatly stored in cupboards to protect them from dust and steam. A large table served as a workbench; there were at least as many chairs as there were servants, for the table in the kitchen also doubled as the eating place for the servants.
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