Gloria Graham, AKBD
Brendan Donovan Furniture & Cabinet Co.
3685 Investment Lane, West Palm Beach, Florida
Phone (561)254-7736,

Monday, September 20, 2010


The Frankfurt Kitchen 1926 Wikipedia
So where were we?  As I recall, we were examining the roots of the heart of the home (Click on Part I here.) to see just how we got from our origins to where we are now.  Today I will show you the first MOD(ERN) kitchen.

Although cooking made it to the indoors pretty quickly, water pipes in cities were not commonly laid until the end of the 19th century. Open shelves were the original go-to storage and coal fired stoves ruled. Cupboards, or cabinets, were first used by the upper classes to protect contents from dust, steam and smoke.  The middle class kitchen was were the family lived with the living rooms and studies saved for special times.  Sound familiar?

The first standardizations for the kitchen came from the German brand Poggenphol (est. 1892).  In case you ever wondered, this is where we got the ergonomically pleasing counter top height of 36".  These new guidelines were the result of time-motion studies  known at Taylorism.  As women increasingly found the need to aquire factory jobs, the need for efficiency in the kitchen increased and the Frankfurt Kitchen was born in 1926. I guess you could call its creator, Margarete Schutte-Lihotzky the first kitchen designer!  The design was influenced by railway dining cars of the day with two main objectives, to save precious time and make modern convenience affordable to the masses. These two priorities still endure so we'll keep them.  What can we chuck?  Maybe the closed-in tight quarters and the limited counter space?

The pre-historic Chemex Coffee Maker also on show at the MOMA

Margarete's Creation on Exhibit at the MOMA
Check out this exhibit which opened September 15th at the MOMA in NYC.  This examination of modern food prep is called Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen. spanning the last century of Western cookery -- from the architecture of the kitchen itself to the introduction of newer and stranger gadgets, like Chemex coffee pots and even Tupperware!  The show runs until March 11, 2011, and yes I'm already planning another jaunt to the B.A.!! 

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