From vintage farmhouse kitchens to “the new kitchen of tomorrow”: Television footage from 1956, 1957 and 1958

1950s &60s Kitchens(The New Kitchen of Tomorrow Today)

Grab a cuppa, retro renovators, and watch this wonderful set of kitchen videos from 1956, 1957 and 1958 – selling us straight-edged electric appliances and in charcoal, it seems. Thanks to Barbara in Ohio for this excellent find! I particularly like the first sequence, showing how older, farmhouse kitchens could be updated for the modern way of life. That old, patched-together “before” kitchen is like the one my grandma had on the farm in North Dakota.  A little bit of counter, a stove that also provide heat, a small icebox – and a kitchen table where all the work got done and nine people ate every meal, too.

Remember, it wasn’t until the post-war period that the idea of “fitted kitchens” – with built-in cabinetry, long uninterrupted countertops, and integrated stoves and fridges — all based on “scientific, efficient, step saving” (and “wife saving”) layouts — really took hold. It’s so interesting: As a nation we are such believers in technology… science… progress. We are optimistic — hard working — and innovative. It’s something to remember in these economic times. A good thing, a hopeful thing.


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  1. Tikimama says

    I’m looonnnging to see this in color, even tho’ I know it’s not gonna happen! French-door ovens – 3 of them! I didn’t know such a thing existed. Thanks for showing us one more thing we now *have* to have! Such great storage ideas, and the light fixtures – wow!

  2. jeanne says

    I’ve never seen nor heard of a French-door oven!

    If anyone ever visits Dearborn, Michigan, you must visit The Henry Ford Museum. There are period displays of complete kitchens throughout history and also an excellent history of furniture display. Plus you MUST visit the Dymaxion House at The Henry Ford! It’s a full size “house of the future” on display. It’s a round aluminum home suspended from a central pole.

  3. Barb Scott says

    We were oohing and aahing over the light fixtures as well. I think in the second clip, you could barely see a sputnik fixture hanging from the ceiling in one of the long shots!

  4. Amy says

    gosh that was interesting. yes I wonder what colours they chose and I wonder what they would’ve thought of our kitchens of today in comparison to theirs. We did the same thing with our kitchen, got rid of the old one and put a newer one in over a period of a few months.

  5. says

    Those were lovely, thank you! Cooking in heels and kicking back your leg in joy as your husband kisses you in the kitchen, in a fresh white apron.
    I wouldn’t go for the french door oven though – imagine the many ways you could get a burn from one of those.

  6. northside CJ says

    How neat. Do you know were those sales ads for Frigidare? Those “french door” ovens are a Frigidare exclusive design from what I know, and I am wondering if the “shear line stying was part of their adverising slogan.

  7. sablemable says

    Great video! I especially liked the ironing center. The charcoal color appliances must not have been too popular, although gray tones in fashion and cars were very with it in the Fifties. Also liked the french door oven.

  8. Lindsey Cota says

    I’m sure it is probably terrible for retaining heat whenever you open the oven door, but man oh man! Do I love that oven! How convenient that the wire rack just pops out like that!!! I’m in love…

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