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Christmas Clean-Up: 1956

Christmas Clean-Up: 1956

I found this slide dated December 1956 at a local swap meet. View full size.

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Mom and daughter

--judging by the identical friendly smiles. I think I'd rather eat here than with the tidy, but unsmiling, family in the photo shown above this one.


One is for the icebox. What's the other? Is that an electric clock behind Mom's head?

Honorable mention to Mom's cat glasses. Worthy of a neck chain.

Where oh where is the kitchen staple

Swing A Way can opener hiding??

Painted Metal Cabinet

It appears that the base cabinet was one of the many enameled factory-made steel kitchen cabinets which were popular in the mid 20th-century. I suspect the paint that has worn off was a homeowner-applied finish over the factory enamel.

Clean as you go

Obviously they are finally finishing up since the silverware and utensils are always in the bottom of the sink. They had mashed potatoes, too, because the potato masher is there. Some one on the left is the drier but didn’t make it in the photo. I’m a clean as you cook person. My mother in law was a cook, pile the pans up and clean everything after dessert which I found exhausting after a heavy meal.

Trend Dishwashing Detergent

Still around today, Trend Dishwashing Detergent, was just packaged a bit differently.

Touched by an Apron

Interesting to see how all those hours of toil have worn the enamel off the cabinet under the sink.

Polarized outlets

They were pretty standard by the mid-20s, but polarized plugs failed to catch on until they were made mandatory for some appliances beginning in 1978. Many of the old non-grounding outlets have the T-shaped slots, in order to accept the old 1904 Hubbell tandem-blade plugs, which were fairly common before the parallel plug was standardized in 1921. The modern grounding outlet was developed circa 1949, but did not become common until after 1962. The GFCI was invented by Charles Dalziel in 1961, although a similar device had been developed earlier in South Africa, for use in the diamond mines.

Extra Handle

I'm going to guess that it's to stop the flow through the spout and divert it to the sprayer at the left.


I see handles for hot and cold water. There's another handle on the spout. Does anyone know what that's for?


And who ever heard of a GFCI? At least, one that would fit in a 2x4 box.

I still have 3 or 4 ungrounded outlets in our much-modified home, originally built in 1954. Knob & tube in those walls!

Water and Electricity

That was the era of two-pronged electrical outlets.

[Non-polarized, too. - Dave]

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