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The Happy Homemaker: 1922

The Happy Homemaker: 1922

September 6, 1922. "Miss Elizabeth U. Hoffman." Who might be one teacup short of a place setting. National Photo Co. Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Post Toasties!

I vote for flake cereal. Makes more sense with the milk. Must confess: I'm a sucker for the domestic setting photos, even test kitchens. I love everything about this -- the rubber mats on the floor, the Pyrex casserole, the ironstone bowl, the dish drainers, the border on the china, the glass milk bottle, the enamel-topped table, the wicker stool. Obviously, someone said "Hey, Elizabeth!" and snapped the shot. I'm sure she's a lovely person, really.


The container behind the milk looks like it is holding walnuts. The bigger pieces are always on top, then smaller pieces, and then finally the nut dust.


It looks like sprinkles, or jimmys, or 100s and 1000s, whatever you might call them. Although that's kind of a random thing to have in a jar with your other necessities.

What is this place?

Quality control test kitchen in a food factory, home economics classroom, recipe lab for Mrs. Wyler's fried pies?


Poor Miss Hoffman! Don't pick on her! I get the same expression when I'm forced to spend any time in the kitchen too...and I bet she's thinking "take the photo, hurry up and take the photo already"...


Our house was built in 1905 and all these appliances are there in the basement, which was apparently used as the kitchen area before the "modern" kitchen and bathroom were added in the 40's. I wonder if they are worth money. They sure did get their money's worth -- still work over 100 years later.


My mother has this same table on the enclosed back porch of her home. It was purchased from one of many estate sales she and Dad have attended. They always believed that new isn't always better and have instilled this belief in me. Therefore I would kill for that pressure cooker! My current one -- "only" 10 years old -- always has a clogged valve.

As for Miss Hoffman, June Cleaver she is not.

Harsh lights, sharp corners

Harsh lights, sharp corners everywhere, a pressure cooker on the stove, a knife on the drainboard, an alarm clock-- ominously approaching 12 o'clock--tied to the wall, hard linoleum echoing every footstep, and that terrified look on her face--perhaps Edgar Allan Poe's kitchen.

Take That, Japan!

We had lifelike domestic companion androids way back in the 1920's!

The Proverbial Gaspipe?

Is that a spare gaspipe hovering over the table? Is it there so Miss Elizabeth U. Hoffman can take a dose when her weird kitchen proves too much for her?

[That's probably a fire sprinkler. - Dave]

Demo, or apartment?

@Tea -- I was rather wondering that. It looks to uncluttered to be a home (ergo, I think demo kitchen in a warehouse), but looking at the ceiling/wall, it could be a cheaply partitioned apartment.

And she's either missing a wall and standing in direct sunlight, or there are some big artificial lights in place.

[This would be an academic or institutional setting. Maybe government -- Bureau of Standards or Agriculture department. - Dave]

Miss Elizabeth U. Hoffman

...wanted in three states for her Tainted Tuna Fish Casserole!

On the table

Looks like tea bags in one of the jars on the table but what the heck is in the other jar behind the milk bottle ?

Cooking in a Warehouse?

Where is this, does anyone know? America's Test Kitchen in the olden days?


Ooohhh. That lady gives me the willies

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