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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Made in America: 1942

Made in America: 1942

June 1942. Chicago, Illinois. "Manpower. Americans all. His war job with Pressed Steel Can Car Company gives Michael Kassalo an extra good appetite. Operating a vertical turret lathe in a Midwest tank plant, Michael is one of many hundreds of first- and second-generation Americans whose sole purpose during working hours is to get as many tanks as possible off the lines and ready for shipment to the fighting fronts. Michael's grandparents, with whom he lives, cling to the Slavic language and to many 'Old Country' customs, but Michael and his brothers and sisters are as American as the Smiths and Joneses." Photo by Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

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Our family cooked on one

Our family cooked on one of those stoves during the war! My parents rented a house in 1944 in which the owners had removed the modern range. Left was a version of this stove in the kitchen. It doubled as the source of heat for the hot water heater. Having no oven, my grandmother used a stovetop oven (no thermostat of course) to bake rolls, pies and cornbread. All the stovetop cooking was done on that small stove, which was fired by coal. In the summers, our kitchen was one hot place, as the house was in South Alabama and of course there was no air conditioning!

Laundry stove

Used to be common in kitchens:

Michael reaches for ...

... a handful of jellyfish?

What IS that stuff?

[He's reaching into a cellophane bag or wrapper. -tterrace]

[For a slice of "California-Style" HoneyWheat Bread. - Dave]

Tableside Apparatus

Can anyone please tell me what the apparatus in the foreground is? It looks like something used to cook food at the tableside and has a vent pipe but I don't believe I have ever seen anything like it. How was it used? Very interesting picture.

Pressed Steel CAR Co.

The original photo caption seems to have a typo. It most likely meant to reference the Pressed Steel Car Co., which was a major builder of railway equipment and did indeed convert to the production of tanks and other armored vehicles during the war. They had factories in Illinois as well as Pittsburgh.

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