"A refreshing retro-kitchen history" —Florence Fabricant, The New York Times
Nearly everyone alive today has experienced cozy, welcoming kitchens packed with conveniences that we now take for granted. Sarah Archer, in this delightful romp through a simpler time, shows us how the prosperity of the 1950s kicked off the technological and design ideals of today’s kitchen. In fact, while contemporary appliances might look a little different and work a little better than those of the 1950s, the midcentury kitchen has yet to be improved upon.
During the optimistic consumerism of midcentury America when families were ready to put their newfound prosperity on display, companies from General Electric to Pyrex to Betty Crocker were there to usher them into a new era. Counter heights were standardized, appliances were designed in fashionable colors, and convenience foods took over families’ plates.
With archival photographs, advertisements, magazine pages, and movie stills, The Midcentury Kitchen captures the spirit of an era—and a room—where anything seemed possible.
About the Author
Sarah Archer is a writer and curator who specializes in design and material culture. The author of Midcentury Christmas and The Midcentury Kitchen, she contributes to Slate, The Atlantic, Architectural Digest, and newyorker.com. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A refreshing retro-kitchen history — Florence Fabricant, The New York Times
If you want to understand your kitchen, this is the book for you. Packed with fabulous period images and memorable detail, this is the story of how the center of the American home came to look the way it does today—and what that can tell us about gender, capitalism, and social norms. — Nicola Twilley, writer and co-host of the Gastropod podcast
Modern kitchens are the midcentury era in miniature: an embrace of the new, equal parts invention and consumption. Sarah Archer tells this story with warmth and wit, accompanied by beautifully chosen images throughout. — Glenn Adamson, author of Fewer Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects