ARCHITECT contributor Mike Jackson shares a look at the crucial kitchen appliance innovations and additions during the early 1900s that still define the "modern kitchen" of present day.

The modern kitchen has become the epicenter of a home—the place where families and friends gather to cook, eat, commiserate, and linger. However, this association is a relatively recent phenomenon. Prior to the turn of the 20th century, the typical kitchen was rectangular in shape, filled with furnishings—a sink, a stove, cabinets, and a worktable in the center—and, perhaps most notably, removed from living space. But the introduction of electricity and the widespread adoption of modern plumbing changed the average kitchen to what we know today.

Kalamazoo Kitchen Kabinet, Kalamazoo Stove Co., Kalamazoo, Mich., 1917
The Kalamazoo Stove Co. was a prolific manufacturer and marketer of kitchen stoves, cabinets, and utensils. This catalog features a white-finished cabinet—a major design trend of this era as homeowners grew to prefer “sanitary” white finishes over natural wood finishes.

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