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Health Food: 1928

Health Food: 1928

Circa 1928. "Washington Sanitarium, dietetic kitchen. Takoma Park, Maryland." Bon appetit! National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Higher Heat

I notice what appears to be a radiator heater on the wall to the left in between the windows. I've never seen one mounted high up on the wall like that, they're always on the floor.

Some things have changed!

As a student nurse about to graduate, I can say things have changed! We no longer wear dresses or skirts to name one. Many say it is easier to care for patents wearing scrubs. I for one would like to wear a uniform! Another is the well known nurse's cap! Yes, in June when I graduate I will be pinned but there is no longer a cap ceremony! Bummed me when I found out!

The Nurses

Even though I was in "nurses' education" (not training -- "You train seals, but educate nurses") in the mid 1960s, the uniforms look the same! Unbelievable! Some things never change.

Definitely no Joy of Cooking

Definitely no Joy of Cooking here. No wonder hospital food is so uniformly (pun intended) dismal. Maybe someone kept stealing the light bulbs to avoid looking at the food.


In many hospitals, graduate nurses wore white stockings and shoes, students black. The black stockings, like the unbanded caps, signify apprentice nurses.

In the days when hospitals were staffed primarily by students right up to the level of charge nurses, it was not uncommon to keep a pair of white stockings and shoes on hand in the ward to be donned in the event that an uppity visiting physician refused to deal with a student nurse.

Student Nurses

This so reminds me of my stint as a student nurse in the mid 1950s. While the surroundings were a bit more modern, the chores were the same. After studying a course in Nutrition, we were sent on rotation to the Hospital "Dietary Department" where we learned to work on menus for special diets, prepared some of the foods, like porridge in the mornings for breakfast. We also worked on the tray line, adding menu items to the trays for the patients. We were a source of unpaid labor for the hospital. Even the uniforms are nearly exactly what we wore as students. White pinafore-like dresses with blue striped sleeves, white cuffs and collars. Notice the "Nurses watches" on the wrists. The only difference is that by then we all wore white stockings and shoes.

I notice a missing light bulb. Probably nipped by a poor student who needed it for her study lamp.

It is written

The writing on the wall says, "Please leave the light bulbs installed." I can't imagine why anyone would remove them.

Writing on the wall

Does the wall say "Please leave the Light bulbs installed"? I know that before wall sockets came out people used light sockets to power appliances.

Don't take those lightbulbs!

I love that hand-scrawled sign on the wall.


"NOTICE: Please leave the light bulbs installed." I see an empty socket...

Drip, drip

Gotta love the plumbing trap directly above the work area. What are they preparing? Likely chocolate pudding.

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