Published at Friday, 28 June 2019. Kitchen. By Images Collector.
In the southern states, where the climate and sociological conditions differed from the north, the kitchen was often relegated to an outbuilding. On plantations, it was separate from the big house or mansion in much the same way as the feudal kitchen in medieval Europe: the kitchen was operated by slaves in the antebellum years. Their working place was separated from the living area of the masters by the social standards, but more importantly, it was a means to reduce the chance of fire in the main house from kitchen operations.
Industrialization also caused social changes. The new factory working class in the cities was housed under generally poor conditions. Whole families lived in small one or two-room apartments in tenement buildings up to six stories high, badly aired and with insufficient lighting. Sometimes, they shared apartments with "night sleepers", unmarried men who paid for a bed at night. The kitchen in such an apartment was often used as a living and sleeping room, and even as a bathroom. Water had to be fetched from wells and heated on the stove. Water pipes were laid only towards the end of the 19th century, and then often only with one tap per building or per story. Brick-and-mortar stoves fired with coal remained the norm until well into the second half of the century. Pots and kitchenware were typically stored on open shelves, and parts of the room could be separated from the rest using simple curtains.
Unit construction since its introduction has defined the development of the modern kitchen. Pre-manufactured modules, using mass manufacturing techniques developed during World War II, greatly brought down the cost of a kitchen. Units which are kept on the floor are called "floor units", "floor cabinets", or "base cabinets" on which a kitchen worktop – originally often formica and often now made of granite, marble, tile or wood – is placed. The units which are held on the wall for storage purposes are termed as "wall units" or "wall cabinets". In small areas of kitchen in an apartment, even a "tall storage unit" is available for effective storage. In cheaper brands, all cabinets are kept a uniform color, normally white, with interchangeable doors and accessories chosen by the customer to give a varied look. In more expensive brands, the cabinets are produced matching the doors colors and finishes, for an older more bespoke look.
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