Things No Longer Done in a Kitchen

Cooking and preparing meals really has changed over the decades. You might recall some of these vintage things done in the kitchen that are just not done anymore.

Baking food items, many times those items then had to cool. Today a cooling rack might be used but your ancestors usually had their baked goods cooled on the windowsill or on a table in front of an open window. You can bet, more than once, a youngster came up to the window still to get a piece of the food item.

From flour to lard to sugar, most things for the kitchen were once kept in crockery pots. Stoneware bowls were also much more common than any type in many frontier homes.

A storage location for baked pies was pie safes. The perforated tin fronts let steam escape while keeping pies and baked goods out of sight of insects and children.

For decades butter was made at home in a butter churn. After it was made, most people scooped their homemade butter into a crockery bowl and covered it with a saucer or piece of cloth before placing it in the cupboard or on a shelf.

Before the common use of a roll of paper towels in the kitchen, everyone had cloth towels in the kitchen. A small rack to dry them on since many were used in one day. The best location to dry the cloths was near a stove or if there was a fireplace in the kitchen.

Having a sink with running water was a fair newer kitchen item. Before that, your ancestors used a metal tub or basin. Here food was washed, hands cleaned and dirty dishes cleaned up after a meal.

Then there were iceboxes and refrigerators. The first refrigerator for home use was created by GE in 1911, but the first at-home refrigerator to truly catch on, GE’s ‘Monitor Top’, didn’t appear until 1927. Even then, the Monitor Top cost a spendy $525 (for comparison, the price of a Model T Ford was about $300). Most American households didn’t have refrigerators until well into the 1940s. Until then there was the icebox, basically a furniture-sized ice chest. The icebox was an insulated cabinet, lined with tin or zinc, with a slot for a giant block of ice, delivered weekly by the iceman.

Include some of these early kitchen items when writing about your ancestors’ life.

Photo: G. E. Monitor Top refrigerator (the top is the motor)

Related Blogs:

Victorian Kitchens

Cleaning a Kitchen in the 1800s

Essential Kitchen Items in the 1940s

< Return To Blog My Grandmother had a ice box. She got a block of ice about once a week.The Ice Box was made of wood and the inside was line with metal. This was in the early 50's and this was her second one, for the frist one burn when her house burnt in 1950.
Pattsy Orsburn 13/05/22

Truly an 'icebox' with ice. Refrigerators were called 'icebox' for decades.
alice 13/05/22

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