Virtual House

Kitchen Machinery

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Catalogue photograph of dishwasher
A modern dishwasher

Food machinery spread from the factory into domestic kitchens in the 1940s in the USA, and in the 1950s in Europe. Very often the designs were still very industrial looking, with cast iron and stainless steel construction and technical looking controls.

Kitchen appliances are sometimes called ‘white goods’. This is because almost all fridges, freezers and washing machines came in white enamel (a hard white material used to cover surfaces of appliances) for over fifty years. But in the 1990s some designers began to replace white boxes with different shapes and colours.

Swedish company Zanussi gave their products soft, rounded feet and friendly names instead of numbers. Their modern Zoe washing machine (1999) not only came in yellow, but could decide which washing cycle (hot/cold; long/short) to run.

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