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Modern Kitchen: 1942

Modern Kitchen: 1942

Spring 1942. "New Bedford, Massachusetts. Family of Portuguese house painter who live in low-income government housing project." Medium format negative by John Collier for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Duz Soap

floor polisher

That floor is so spotless, it shines. You can see the small white floor polisher peering over the table, just waiting for crumbs to fall and drips to splatter. He'll have that floor licked clean before mom can clear the dishes.

Wartime Cake, part 3

I think you forgot the flour!

Lady Sylvia Model 1940

This gas range was in a Vancouver, B.C. apartment building I lived in 35 years ago, and was such an excellent cook stove that I bought it from the manager for $25 when I moved into a house. It was made by the Beach Foundry Company in Ottawa, Ontario, and has a thermostatic oven control, but the broiler is in the top of the oven. The backsplash is hinged and folds down to cover the burners. Lady Sylvia is the silhouette on the backsplash.

Rich and Poor Alike

My mother worked hard to provide for the three children in our single parent home. While we didn’t have much, what we had was clean. The kids at school had no idea how little we had as we were always bathed and our hand-me-downs were clean and in good repair. My mother instilled in me that no matter how poor one may be, they can always be clean. This photo reflects that truth.

Re: War Cake

Ugh, I think I could do without for the duration rather than eat that concoction.

Wartime Cake

Eggless, butterless, sugarless, milkless cake.

2 c. hot water
2 tsp. lard
1 pkg. raisins
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon

Boil these for 5 minutes after they begin to bubble. When cold, add:

1 tsp. soda dissolved in hot water

Bake in 2 loaves, 45 minutes in a slow oven. This cake improves by keeping. During the war this recipe was not given away, but sold for 10 cents to benefit the Red Cross.

Didn't say whether it was tasteless, too!

Shelving Paper and Blue Willow

The pretty doily-like edge on the shelf paper and the beloved traditional blue willow china gives this cozy kitchen what used to be called a "woman's touch". My mom was quite regimented about changing the shelf paper and kitchen curtains several times per year and always having pretty dishes. It just made the drudgery of daily cooking and cleaning a whole lot cheerier (and aprons were always in use) and was very inexpensive. I'm guessing they are cooking fried fish and mashed potatoes, yum.

Landlord Special

The 20" wide gas range in this kitchen is what we used to call a "Cooker". This one is a Royal Rose, pilot lit, with a thermostat to control the temperature in the oven section. The broiler was in the drawer below the oven that pulled out. We sold them mainly to landlords and advertised them as low as $49 without the thermostat. Royal Rose was locally manufactured (NYC) and was sold, I'm guessing, mainly on the East Coast. The competing brands were Welbilt and Slattery.

Carefully staged poses

Everybody but the dog is cooperating with the photographer!

Oh my goodness.

That floor is soooo much cleaner than mine.

"I've gone back to Duz."



It all looks pretty nice for supposedly being 'low income'!

I love that cute little dog's happy face!

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