1920-1939

Women were now ensconced in a modern world. They grew up full of hope and wide-eyed at in the “scientific method” of cookery, and “domestic science” yet lived through the tragedies of WWI, and struggled in the depression years, forming frugal habits they would not forget for a lifetime. By the 1930s electricity was available in most kitchens, even in rural areas of the country.

The following articles contain details of this time period:

Arcane Radio Trivia blog contains a list of many of the popular radio cooking shows from the 1920s to the 1930s. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) aired Aunt Sammy’s radio cooking show and printed Bulletins with notes from the shows and recipes. See .pdf of Aunt Sammy’s Bulletin. Today you can listen here to Sam ‘n Ella’s Radio Show.

See her cooking show seasons on youtube.

See the photo and visit the green Depression era kitchen at the Victorian Scolnik House in Muskegon, Michigan. While in Muskegon, visit the Victorian houses designed by David S. Hopkins and the Victorian kitchens at the Hackley & Hume houses.

old country kitchen.

Old country kitchens still exist in the rural areas throughout the United States. Notice the wood-burning Atlantic stove, made in Portland, Maine circa 1920 with the attached hot-water heater.

It is always 1932 at Wellington Farm, USA in Michigan. The Summer Kitchen is equipped for the housekeeper of the Great Depression, and is a working kitchen for demonstrations and special events. A Grist Mill is nearby milling corn for cornmeal, barley for flour, or shelling corn.

We found these photos in “The World’s Modern Cook Book” of another 1932 kitchen:

Westwego Historical Society arranged a splendid early kitchen at the Westwego Historical Museum. See the kitchen picture on their website. Displays of 1920s-1930s kitchens abound in select historic house museums throughout the United States, and also in local history museums such as the Cole Camp Museum Cole Camp in Missouri, and The Warner Museum in Concord, New York.

Kentucky Fried Chicken’s founder Colonel Sanders first pressure-cooked his famous fried chicken in a 6-seat lunchroom at a gas station in the 1930s. A replica of the kitchen is on display at the original lunchroom location at the Kentucky Fried Chicken® in Corbin Kentucky.

Valentine Diners were made of metal and manufactured in Kansas. On their website you’ll discover the history of these pre-fabricated metal lunchrooms and diners — even including the White Castle buildings.

For a closer look at the early fast-food industry visit the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka.