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German History in Documents and Images
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A Housewife in Her New Modern Kitchen (1957)
Drawing inspiration from the ideas of Taylorist rationalization, architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky designed the modern, space-saving Frankfurt Kitchen as early as 1926. Unfortunately, the rise to power of National Socialism prevented the design from spreading on a large scale. After undergoing further development in Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States, the standardized, streamlined kitchen returned to Germany after 1945 – and was now called the “American” or “Swedish” kitchen. Still, only the better off could afford to completely redo their kitchens. Most people gradually modernized them, giving priority to refrigerators and kitchen cabinets for improved use of space. While only 10 percent of all West German households owned a refrigerator in 1955, 52 percent had one by 1962/63. Photo by Gerd Mingram [Germin].