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Thread: Home is where the Kitchen is

  1. #1
    Practically Family BoPeep's Avatar
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    Home is where the Kitchen is

    I haven't been able to find a thread devoted solely to the humble kitchen, so here goes. This is, of course, prompted by my latest purchase - a '40s Magic Chef gas stove. Bringing it into the room required a complete shuffling of the furniture so after a bit of spring cleaning (wowsers, were there dust bunnies behind the fridge!) and a pounding of a few more holes in the wall (much to the chagrin of my husband), this is my "new" kitchen.



    The fridge is a 1947 Frigidaire - "Made only by General Motors" says the logo.







    I'm proud to say that almost all the "knick knacks" that are hanging on the walls are used on a regular basis, with exception of the egg beater (although my kids LOVE whipping eggs for breakfast). Everything on top of the Hoosier is used, the yellow pans hanging above the stove, the coffee grinder on the chimney, everything!

    This has got to be my favorite room in the house, with possible exception of my sewing room. So let's see your kitchen . . . I know I'm not the only one here who defrosts their freezer box every month!

  2. #2
    My Mail is Forwarded Here PrettySquareGal's Avatar
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    I'm also a big fan of having a vintage kitchen. Nice.
    2014 feels like a creepy uncle who keeps trying to kiss me. I want to dodge it as much as possible!

  3. #3
    Call Me a Cab David Conwill's Avatar
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    Alas, our kitchen is one of the few non-vintage rooms in the house, as the schoolteacher who owned it from 1944 to 1995 had it remodeled about 1970, albeit in a mid-century style that could just has easily have been 1957.

    My wife and I have compromised on someday remodeling to a modern layout with 1920s-style cabinetry and 1940s-style appliances (she wants new Elmira Northstars, I'd like to restore our mid-1940s Caloric range and dig up an old Frigidaire like yours).

    -Dave
    All hat, no Packard.

  4. #4
    One Too Many Forgotten Man's Avatar
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    Lookin' good!

    I'll post some photos later today of our vintage kitchen in the new place! No vintage stove yet but, the '40 GE and the rest of the stuff is period.
    The HOOVER Cleaner, It Beats... As It Sweeps... As It Cleans!

  5. #5
    Bartender LizzieMaine's Avatar
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    Great shots, BoPeep! Always glad to see another enthusiast of quality vintage appliances.

    Here are few recent shots of my kitchen -- please excluse the blown-out windows. We get so little sun lately, I wanted to preserve the full impact of the moment.



    The stove is a 50s vintage Hotpoint. It was practically modern when I first got it, and it's held up very well. The washing machine is an Easy, dated to 1934, and is my pride and joy. It was salvaged from a friend's cellar, and could use a new set of wringer rollers. In the meantime, I've repaired the old ones using pieces of bicycle inner tube and rubber tape.



    The fridge is one of the very first postwar Kelvinators, built in November 1945, basically the same model they were building in 1941-42 until the war shut down production. I defrost it once a year, keep the condenser coil clean, and it'll outlive me. (And it uses less energy than most modern units.) The mixer on top of the fridge is a Hamilton Beach, c. 1936. The fan is just some cheap Western Auto thing I've had so long I don't even remember where it came from.



    Excuse the dirty dishes.



    The radio on the table is a Philco from 1940 that I fixed up last summer and had nowhere else to put. The sewing machine, a Singer 66, is on the table only because I'm in the middle of a project and I didn't want to put it away for the picture. (Unfinished project is seen hanging at far left.)
    The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. -- William Jennings Bryan

  6. #6
    Practically Family BoPeep's Avatar
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    Love it, Lizzie! I was hoping you'd post some photos as I suspected you had an older kitchen! I really like the wall color - mint green? I have a set of (new) Fiestaware in the original '30s colors - seafoam green, pale yellow, turquoise, peach - that would look fabulous in your cupboards! It was my first set of dishes that I just didn't like on my barn red shelves. I've packed them away in favor of plain white ironstone, but some day I'll get them out again.

    I'm impressed that you only defrost your fridge once a year! The seal on my door is dry and doesn't seat very well, so that must lead to my glacial ice every month. Do you use your wringer on a regular basis? That's dedication! And make sure you post that sewing project, too!

  7. #7
    Bartender LizzieMaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoPeep
    Love it, Lizzie! I was hoping you'd post some photos as I suspected you had an older kitchen! I really like the wall color - mint green? I have a set of (new) Fiestaware in the original '30s colors - seafoam green, pale yellow, turquoise, peach - that would look fabulous in your cupboards! It was my first set of dishes that I just didn't like on my barn red shelves. I've packed them away in favor of plain white ironstone, but some day I'll get them out again.
    Yep, it's sort of a seafoam/mint green I had them mix up at Sherwin Williams to match the already-present wallpaper. I spent New Years Eve 1999 painting the woodwork and cabinets, and it's aged nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoPeep
    I'm impressed that you only defrost your fridge once a year! The seal on my door is dry and doesn't seat very well, so that must lead to my glacial ice every month. Do you use your wringer on a regular basis? That's dedication! And make sure you post that sewing project, too!
    Replacing or repairing the gasket makes a huge difference, both in condensation and in energy use -- a lot of fridges use a very simple generic gasket that can be ordered from appliance-restoration places, but I couldn't get one to fit mine. So I did two things -- first, I sealed the cracks and splits in the original gasket with silicone sealant, and then I laid a thin coat of silicone over the entire surface of the old gasket with a frosting spreader -- this gave it a good grabby surface, enough to really make a difference in cold loss. Then I got some thin foam weatherstripping at the hardware store and laid it along the inside perimeter of the gasket as a backup. Between these two things I get very very little frost buildup.

    The washer I use every Monday, weather permitting -- again, it's much much cheaper than using an automatic washer, both in terms of energy use and water use. Plus it's very very good exercise -- mine doesnt have a drain pump, so I drain it into a pail and dump the pail in the sink. There's a reason housewives in the Era didn't need to worry about gym memberships.
    The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. -- William Jennings Bryan

  8. #8
    Call Me a Cab LocktownDog's Avatar
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    Wow! Great kitchens!

  9. #9
    Practically Family BoPeep's Avatar
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    Dave - remodeling can be an interesting endeavor if both parties don't agree! Elmira appliances will take you to the poorhouse fast! When I was shopping for a "retro" microwave (yes, my husband laughed at me, too), I found the Elmira Northstar version - for $750 you got a basic microwave with a round window instead of angular. Not enough "retro" to warrant the price tag. I decided to hide the micro in the pantry.

    Lizzie - Thanks for the tips on the fridge seal. We have shimmed up behind the seal and that did help, but I think I'll try coating the front as well. I haven't been successful in finding a new replacement. And like you, I do laundry on Mondays. Love that I'm able to hang out on the line again! PM me if you're interested in a recipe for homemade laundry soap (the good ole version with Fels Naptha and Borax).

  10. #10
    I'll Lock Up dhermann1's Avatar
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    I'd be nervous about early microwaves' radiation shielding properties. I think I'd turn it on and then leave the room.
    "Hello. I'm Mr. Hardy, and this is my friend, Mr. Laurel."

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