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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VINTAGE CHICAGO, c. 1950s

Electrik Maid: 1950

Electrik Maid: 1950

        UPDATE: This was the Electrik Maid Bakery at 7000 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park.

Montgomery County, Md., circa 1950. "Potomac Electric Power Co. -- Commercial kitchens, restaurants and lighting. Takoma Park Bakery." We're guessing these are not gluten-free. 8x10 acetate negative by Theodor Horydczak. View full size.

 

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Maid with neon

Electrik Maid (with a normalized spelling) is now the name of a nonprofit storefront community center and music venue, down the street from the defunct bakery.

“Electrik Maid” was trademarked in 1920 by the franchiser of local bakeries mentioned earlier. The bakeries featured new-fangled electric ovens, which were then starting to compete seriously with the gas-fueled.

In the 1940s some entrepreneur opened Takoma Park's Electrik Maid franchise at (approximately) 7000 Carroll Avenue in the row of art-deco storefronts on the town's main shopping street. The bakery is gone, replaced now by the eclectic homey-tasty Mark’s Kitchen diner.

Meanwhile, the defunct bakery’s art-deco neon sign apparently was so well loved that the history-conscious, crunchy-granola nonprofit community center -- http://electricmaid.org/ -- adapted the sign for its own storefront, located since 1981 at 268 Carroll, on the Washington, D.C., side of the street.

Lots more about the town on the D.C./Maryland border: http://www.historictakoma.org/takomahistoryinprint.html

One left?

There's an Electrik Maid Bake Shop in Biloxi, MS. It has been open since 1924, although it moved to a more modern building at some point.

1950?

If this were captioned as 1915 I would never have suspected it was wrong!

[Note the radio. According to a 1987 Washington Post article on Takoma Park, "the Electrik Maid Restaurant, said to be the oldest eatery in town, opened in the 1940s as a bakery, one of the first using all-electric appliances. Now it's a kind of Middle-Eastern-Greek-vegetarian diner with nine booths, six swiveling stools at the counter and a Ms. Pac-Man game." - Dave]

Who Do We Call First

The health department or the fire department?

[There was at least one fire here, in 1951, caused by a faulty ventilator in the basement. - Dave]

Electrik Maid Bake Shops

This strange phrase shows up on the right side of the upper oven's control box. Googling it reveals that such a place exists in Biloxi. Mystery abounds!

[It was a franchise operation based in Minnesota. Also a clue as to the address here -- the Electrik Maid Bakery at 7000 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park, Maryland. - Dave]

Cleanliness

Boy, cleanliness standards sure have changed in the past 65 years.

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