20th Century Introduction
In 1896 at the end of the 19th century, Fannie Merritt Farmer published the Boston Cooking School Cookbook (more than 800 pages) that began a kitchen revolution for homemakers. The book contained many tested recipes for the cook and more importantly itemized the ingredients and detailed the steps required to cook the recipe. The idea of presenting tested cooking preparations was revolutionary for cookbooks of the time.
The industrial revolution of the late 19th century spurred new inventions, cheaper prices, and new ways of thinking of economic and ergonomic efficiency. Gas became the preferred source of heat and allowed ovens to become smaller and lighter compared to coal, wood, or oil fuel. The kitchen of the late 1800s featured very little storage, as cabinets weren’t in production for the home. In 1899, the Hoosier Manufacturing Company was formed, and they introduced a freestanding kitchen storage piece, known as the Hoosier cabinet. It incorporated space saving features like upper and lower cabinetry, in-cabinet storage spaces for things like flour and sugar, and often featured a pullout work surface.
Although the Hoosier cabinet wasn’t large, it filled the storage void for the homemaker and made working in the kitchen that much more efficient. Standard Plumbing Fixtures brought an awareness of sanitation into the American kitchen with a focus upon the sanitary white color. Refrigerators began making an appearance in some American kitchens. The turn of the 20th century saw a greater interest in saving time in factory production, and this interest eventually flowed into kitchen design as well.