A post-war U.S. became a period of serious home innovations, and the kitchen garnered much of the attention. A series of manufacturers and publications touted the “kitchen of the future.” Surprisingly, some of those bold predictions came true decades later. Check out some of the astounding ways the 1950s “Kitchen of the Future” was spot on.
Life magazine opined on “kitchens of tomorrow” as far back as 1943 in a famous spread. A sleek kitchen where equipment disappeared into cabinets and counters was among the biggest innovations. H. Creston Doner designed the kitchen and it was built by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company in Toledo, Ohio.
Everything needed to cook was built in and that’s something we love, given our admiration for kitchen rollouts.
The “kitchen of tomorrow” correctly predicted the rise of the garbage disposal, though at the time it was described as an electrical garbage unit. The kitchen used foot pedals to operate the water in the kitchen sink to make room in the sink. That didn’t take off but it does seem like a brilliant idea to possibly conserve water.
Knives were stored under the cabinets and dropped out on a hinge, almost exactly like what we did here.
The built-in waffle iron didn’t take off, but we kind of wish it did rather than having to pull out the waffle iron from the depths of a kitchen cabinet. Neither did the built-in mixing station, though we can see today what an advantage that could be with all the space a mixer takes up on the kitchen counter these days.
One of the coolest features was the heating mechanism (kind of a precursor to the microwave) that allowed people to heat pre-cooked foods in their own jars. The story claimed heating the food in its own containers cut down on pot-washing.
Sixteen years later Look magazine showed off the “miracle kitchen” and introduced the world to a floor-cleaning robot. We’ve now got the Roomba and hundreds of other incredible home technology products.
The kitchen included a television set for entertainment and a smaller set that allowed people to check who’s at the door or look in on the baby in the nursery. You can check out the console that operated everything in this video.
Elsewhere in the kitchen, beverages dropped down from a cabinet with a wave of the hand and allowed you to pick the type of ice you wanted from an ice maker. The video also touts that you could have piping hot coffee at anytime. The automatic drip coffee maker arrived on the market a couple of decades later in the 1970s. There was even a station where fruits and vegetables got peeled automatically.
The mobile planning center helped prepare a meal from start to finish, beginning with pulling up a recipe and allowing you to cook the meal at a push of a button, just like the smart devices in the kitchen allow people to do today.
If you want to upgrade your kitchen, try out the ideas in the video below.