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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Stuck in the Kitchen: 1937

Stuck in the Kitchen: 1937

September 1937. "Hired girl washing dishes on the McNally farm. Kirby, Vermont." The kitchen last seen here. Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Primping in the kitchen

Along with the shaving mugs and mirror, notice the old fashioned curling iron almost directly under the wall clock, I have one exactly like this in my collection and it is not electric, but one that was manually warmed.

Utility Sink

The big utility sink, covered in this picture, reminds me of "the cement sink", as my grandmother referred to it, that was in her basement.

It was originally used as the laundry sink. It was cast cement and had a divider in the middle making it a double sink. You'd wash in one section and move the clothes to the other to rinse. The one in the picture may well also be a double. There is a faint trace of a seam in the middle.

Dual use room

Since there is a razor strop, shaving mugs, a mirror and many possible medicine bottles on the shelf - could this be the only point of running water in the house?

I also found it interesting that the taps are above the counters and not over the sink.

[That's not a counter - it's a utility sink with a cover resting atop. -tterrace]

Razor strop

I wonder how many recognize that thing hanging in the doorway all the way to the right is a razor strop?

Anonymous woman

Let's hope this unknown woman, whose face we don't see, got some decent work on the home front during WWII. Being a hired girl on a farm seems like a sad and isolated life. Even the WPA photographer declined to name her.

Pattern Hell

or pattern heaven, depending on your decorating sense. Then add two more patterns for the dress and apron, and the eyes reel.

Very effective

I use flypapers to this good day near my kitchen compost bin, which breeds clouds of fruit flies if I don't empty if often enough. As Rute Boye says, they are really effective for kitchen use.

A Better Way

If you have cows you will have flies and we have had our share of both. Years ago we discovered a Virginia farmer who runs free range chickens behind his cows. The chickens eat the fly larva in the manure and so very few ever make it to the adult stage. We have tried this and it works great!

Multifunction Kitchen

If I am looking correctly, I think I see shaving mugs and razors on the shelf. Would make the mirror have more of a reason for being there.

Crude but effective

Looks like the fly paper strip(s) are a very popular gathering place on this particular day!

Not that there's anything wrong with that. As a former health inspector I can say that fly paper was a cheap, effective, and non-toxic method of pest control, approved for use in a commercial food preparation area. After a few days they do get pretty gross, though!

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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