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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Future Fridge: 1959

Future Fridge: 1959

1959. "Anne Anderson in RCA-Whirlpool 'Miracle Kitchen of the Future,' a display at the American National Exhibition in Moscow." Photo by Bob Lerner for the Look magazine article "What the Russians Will See." View full size.

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Why yes

I remember this disinformation campaign well. Our 1959 kitchen looked just like it. Not. The oil stove and refrigerator which iced up regularly featured as did the mangle-equipped clothes washer. Forget the Russians, most people I knew wanted a kitchen like that depicted.

At least we got an over-and-under auto defrost freezer/fridge in contemporary lime green plus a new electric range and washer and dryer when Dad remodeled in 1962! And a double sink. Don't forget that double sink! Luxury. We also got a Roto-Tiller for the veggie garden and a snow blower for the driveway. The future had arrived.

Then I went to London for grad school in 1969. The kitchens I saw there resembled the ones from the '30s shown here on Shorpy but with full-size gas ranges.

Caesar Salad

Discovered by keeping the eggs over the lettuce.

GE preceded RCA-Whirlpool by two years

In 1957, some friends had an identical wall-mounted model in a brown tone, but it was relegated to their garage/shop in 1964 during a remodeling. When they sold the house in 1983 it was still working perfectly.

[Hardly identical. This was a motorized unit that retracted up into the cabinets with a wave of the hand. - Dave]


Looks like we were winning the "cold war" in 1959.

At long last, will no one mention the Kitchen Debate?

This was expected to be the propaganda coup for western capitalism. US corporations spent the duration of WW2 advertising the things that GIs and their Rosie the Riveter wives could look forward to after victory, and one of those things was the modern kitchen. Whatever western intelligence services had to guess about the home lives of communist-bloc nations, they could be pretty confident of a lag in kitchen convenience technology. Ike tasked his veep, Richard Nixon, with hammering this point home, in his debates with Khruschchev.

[Actually we have mentioned it, here and here. - Dave]


If I'm understanding this, what the Russians will see is somebody refrigerating eggs, which pretty much nobody but Americans does.

Predictions can be wrong

“Miracle Kitchen” from back in the day when they predicted nuclear power would make electricity too cheap to meter. Yeah, right.

Retractable Fridge

The RCA-Whirlpool "Finger-Chopper," Model FC-1959.

June Lockhart, Barbara Billingsley, TV moms, etc.

This lady could be any one of the bunch with that outfit and string of pearls. Except Dale Evans.

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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