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      Around 1800 the first stove that was made to cook on was developed by Benjamin Thompson, it was called the Rumford Stove. (Up to 1800, stoves were mostly used for heating, not for cooking.) One fire was used to heat several pots, which hung in the fire through various holes on top of the stove. This stove however was too large for domestic use.
     In 1834 the Oberlin Stove was patented in the US, it was the same technique but made smaller for domestic use. In the following 30 years 90,000 units were sold. During this time, the stoves still worked on wood or coal; while gas was available but it wasn’t used until late in the 19th century.
     Towards the end of the 19th century, more and more houses got water and sewer pipes, and also gas pipes (used for light.) These pipes were later used to provide gas for the first gas stoves (around 1880.)
     In 1893 the first electrical stove was presented in Chicago, but only in 1930 these stoves were advanced enough to be sold for domestic use.
     Because the small houses of the working closses, the kitchen was often used for living and sleeping, and also as a bathing room. (No wonder: due to the stove that was almost constantly on, this room was probably the warmest place in the house!) While pots and kitchenware was usually stored on open shelves in the kitchen, curtains were used to seperate them from the rest of the room.
     Upperclass kitchens were of course the territory of servants only. Gradually, these houses got water pumps, sinks, drains, and sometimes even water on tap. With the closed stoves the kitchen became a cleaner place, because the fire was more restricted.

     During the 19th century, new kitchen appliances were invented and patented, for example the cork-shaper (to shape corks to fit into different bottles,) the can-opener and the corkshrew

victorian kitchens & cooking

victorian kitchens & cooking

An exhibition of kitchen wares.

This post is part of a series on cooking! Follow the links to see the other posts:
A Victorian Christmas
Upperclass dinner
Victorian cooking
Links to recipes & etiquette

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