Thursday, December 3, 2009

Real Kitchen

People have been complaining this week that the old kitchens I feature look fake or posed. So today, you get a real kitchen. This picture is from 1909. I am not sure what the woman is working on in the basket, but maybe it is ears of corn. Also, I am having trouble finding the refrigerator in the picture.

19 comments:

  1. Maybe there was no refrigerator because they didn't have electricity. Notice the oil lamp hanging from the ceiling.

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  2. Anonymous is correct - no electricity, no refrigerator. The ice box is probably "around the corner" closer to the back door so the iceman didn't have to walk as far.

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  3. Oh goodness, I hope you didn't think any of my comments were complaining! I have loved each and every one of the pictures you have shared and appreciate seeing them greatly☺ This one is very interesting... wonder what that gal in the pic was thinking of as she did her work.

    and I think our dear host may have been joking when he said he didn't see a fridge;)

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  4. Looks like ears of corn in the basket. They probably had an icebox.

    All of these photos have been great this week.

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  5. Thanks for posting the kitchen photographs. They're great.

    Fascinating subject for me.

    This one looks like a rural kitchen. I doubt they even had an ice box. Although my grandparents lived in rural Kentucky and had an ice box in the 1930's.

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  7. This really looks like a "lean to" addition doesn't it?

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  8. That looks like a girl not a woman. That's a primitive kitchen. I don't mind the posed pictures as long as we see some real kitchens too.
    I agree with others: there is probably no ice box at all.

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  9. When you enlarge the photo, it looks really dirty in there.

    Yuk.

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  10. It's hard to tell how dirty it may be, but it's dilapidated!

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  11. It looks like their are potatoes in the bowl soaking and possibly a type of leafy green vegetable (beets?) she's cleaning. I think corn ears would have more leaves and silk all over the place

    Also appears to be the the attic/loft of a tenement apartment. This would probably be the cheapest rent. As others have said chances are they didn't have an icebox, in many of the cities for part of the year a window sill would suffice...

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  12. Suggest to read about refigerators from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator
    For example: There was a 1922 model that consisted of a wooden cold box, water-cooled compressor, an ice cube tray and a 9 cubic feet compartment, and cost $714. (A 1922 Model-T Ford cost about $450.)

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  13. That doesn't look like a tenement kitchen to me.

    More like a loft of a shed or barn or rural farmhouse.

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  14. I agree, rural farmhouse or homestead. You can see out the window to some sort of bushes outside. I noticed there also appears to be a window or door directly next to her in the foreground on the right corner of the frame. Maybe another door into the room/out side.

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  15. If any of you have seen the shorpy.com blog, they have noted several times that negatives often get a mold that attacks the thicker emulsion areas (the lighter parts of the scene). That seems to produce various textures which look like dirt, snow, whatever.

    shorpy explains mold

    So the kitchen may not have been that dirty at all.

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  16. In days of yore, anytime a photograph was in prospect people tended to pose. Having your picture taken was an important occasion and efforts were made to put the best appearance forward.

    Neither the cameras nor the customs of the time were especially congenial to candid shots.

    I agree: there may have been an icebox somewhere out of sight.

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  17. It does look dirty. Some people don't mind that...I would have a problem with it.
    My paternal grandmother lived in a primitive cabin in Northern Michigan. She didn't have indoor plumbing, but her outhouse looked nearly as nice as an indoor bathroom. Years ago when I visited her I was amused to see she had installed a "real" toilet seat, complete with a pink fuzzy cover. She had also painted and papered the walls and had an attractive picture on the wall. A decorative container near the "one seater" contained lime, which we were admonished to use each time we visited the outhouse. She didn't have much, but she believed in making what she had as attractive as possible.

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