Published at Saturday, 29 June 2019. Kitchen. By Images Collector.
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 initial reception was critical: it was so small that only one person could work in it; some storage spaces intended for raw loose food ingredients such as flour were reachable by children. But the Frankfurt kitchen embodied a standard for the rest of the 20th century in rental apartments: the "work kitchen". It was criticized as "exiling the women in the kitchen", but post-World War II economic reasons prevailed. The kitchen once more was seen as a work place that needed to be separated from the living areas. Practical reasons also played a role in this development: just as in the bourgeois homes of the past, one reason for separating the kitchen was to keep the steam and smells of cooking out of the living room.
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.
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