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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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A DeSoto in Every Carport

A DeSoto in Every Carport

Columbus, Georgia, circa 1956. "Kitchen in model house." A symphony in stainless steel, Formica, linoleum and brick. 4x5 acetate negative. View full size.

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Terrible kitchen layout

I thought terrible kitchen layout was a more modern invention. The cooktop and oven with no counter space next to them, the oven and refrigerator doors which block the walkway, and the sink a quarter-mile from where it's needed do NOT add up to a well-designed food preparation space.

Here's the story...

Of a nearly identical kitchen 13 years in the future.

Smooth out the brick faces, add some black glass to the oven doors, switch the knotty pine to walnut, and add lots (and lots and lots!) of orange Formica and you've got Mike & Carol Brady's kitchen!

Knotty or Nice?

Don't forget the pine. Oh the pine.

Got it all!

You have a beautiful, modern kitchen and a deluxe car under the carport!

However Did We Exist?

No granite countertops, no stainless steel appliances, no marble or hardwood floors, no workspace lighting, no ....

And that lally column in the carport completely wrecks the feng shui!

How absoŗbing!

Can you imagine trying to clean grease spatters from the brick wall behind the cooktop?

[Bricks are sort of like petrified sponges that soak up whatever liquid hits them. You can burn the grease out with a blowtorch. - Dave]

I heard that the routine application of Hydrochloric Acid works well, too!

Food out of control

Yuck. One of those awful in-counter electric cooktops, with lousy temperature control. Hideous things.

The Hotpoint in-wall oven is kinda cool, though. My brother always wanted one, but you can't get them (or their parts) any longer.

Parallel Unikitchen

When I was 10, in 1957, my father spent much of that year building the first house we'd ever owned. He'd bought the plans for a compact ranch house from Better Homes and Gardens magazine, for something like $7.50, and then made some major modifications of his own to the design, mainly opening up the kitchen and living room ceilings around a big fireplace. Interestingly, despite all my father's creativity, our kitchen came out looking very much like the one in this photo: used bricks to give an irregular wall surface, a brushed-metal built-in oven (though ours was to the left of the stove), a similar (copper) range hood, Formica (albeit red) counters, our white Norge refrigerator much like this Philco, etc.. I guess my parents must have picked up quite a bit of the '56-'57 kitchen zeitgeist looking through those homes magazines.

And although our family car was still the trusty '49 Plymouth during the house construction, both my grandfather and aunt had DeSotos at the time, and we could have checked off yet another match to the Georgia house during their visits.

Into the void

What's with the stark black square next to the door heading to the DeSoto? I think a duplex wall switch should be there, but it looks like a something is blanked out in the picture.

[How's this? - Dave]

Needs work

Sharp corner on countertop will be regretted and the doors on the refrigerator open against the flow of food preparation at stove and oven.


The curvy Philco provides a little relief from all the horizontal and vertical lines. The number above the door handle is intriguing.

[12 cubic feet of storage in the Philco Duplex with Advanced Design! - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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