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Pressure Cookers: 1941

Pressure Cookers: 1941

July 1941. "Wife of FSA borrower discussing pressure cooker with home supervisor. Mille Lacs County, Minnesota." Medium format negative by John Vachon. View full size.


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Re: BethF

Thank you very much for your kind words, jd taylor. You made me blush. I firmly believe everyone should eat like they're 8 years old again every once in a while. There's nothing wrong with it. Adult life can be very stressful for any number of reasons, so taking a few moments to be a kid again can reset your equilibrium. At least, it works that way for me.


That’s one of the best Shorpy comments ever. And this is one of the best lines: “I eat like I'm 8 years old again.”

Pay attention!

The borrower seems to know something of canning with all that's alongside the cooking vessel. But, I hope she paid more attention to the pressure gauge than she paid to changing her calendar page.

We still have, and use, a pressure cooker that my mom had from the late forties or early fifties. No trouble yet. Knock on wood.

Memories from my childhood.

My grandmother had a pressure cooker that looked very similar to this one, and without fail, whenever we went to visit her, she'd cook fresh green beans (picked from the garden that day) and lots of bacon in it. It was amazing. I used to only be able to eat green beans like that, so it was a good thing my mother had one too, albeit a newer model. I've since learned to enjoy green beans in a myriad of different ways, but for good old nostalgia's sake, I make them the way my grandma did, and I eat like I'm 8 years old again.

All those knobs

Won't do a bit of good!

Mille Lacs

Only a thousand lakes? The licence plate has 10,000. And not to be outdone, my home province, Manitoba, just to the north, when I was a kid, decided to go with ten times as many lakes.

When will it blow?

Fabulous photo with its foreboding shadows on the brown paper walls. They both wait for the explosion of the pressure cooker. Who got the timing correct? Mother or daughter?

[That's not her daughter! - Dave]

The National

Judging from the general shape, the lugs, and the dial, I believe we're looking at a National C21 pressure canner ("21" indicated the capacity in quarts). Smaller-capacity National models used a twist-lock top.

Grace under pressure

Your face is a study in terror, Grace Swenson, and can't say as I blame ya. If I had a 'splodey old pressure cooker like that in MY kitchen, I'd be sayin' novenas!

Well, I'd best be on my way. The day is young, and I have a lot more supervisin' to do. Thanks for the tequila shots!

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