Model kitchens.
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Model kitchens.

Consumer products came to the fore in the economy of the 1920s, putting new technologies like radios, toasters, and electric irons into even working-class homes. A quarter of a century separates these two “model kitchens,“ indicating how technology and new consumer products—including gas stoves, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners—changed housework. The wood stove in the 1899 kitchen, for example, stands in sharp contrast to the 1924 showcase electric stove. Nevertheless, some innovations were far beyond the means of many American families; over one-third of all American households still had wood or coal stoves in 1940.

Source: Anna Leach, “Science in the Modern Kitchen,” Cosmopolitan, May 1899—American Social History Project; Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.