The kitchen cabinet that could save your marriage


Advertisement published in The Ladies’ Home Journal,  1919. Is it just me, or is there a suggestive twinkle in her eye as she removes that work apron?

Hoosier cabinet ads offered another attractive benefit: by helping their users stay “beautiful,” “youthful,” and “energetic,” the cabinets in effect promised to help save marriages. “Why be all fagged out and suffer from backache and headache?” asked one ad. “Why be a kitchen drudge, waste your strength and wear yourself out? A ‘Dutch Kitchenet’ will systematize your kitchen work—make it easy and give you leisure time for rest and recreation.” The Sellers cabinet promised to “conserve your strength to a remarkable degree.” The Hoosier Manufacturing Company agreed that “the greatest economies [women] can effect are those of Time and Strength,” allowing “more time for rest and recreation,” and for “porch breezes” in summer. “The Hoosier will help me to stay young,” declares a bride to her mother, presumably on her wedding day, judging by her attire. “Save nerves, Save health,” cries another Hoosier ad; yet another, “Think what this spare time would mean to you day after day, if you worked sitting down so you could feel rested enough to enjoy it.”

Based on these and other advertisements citing headaches (yes), exhaustion, and drudgery, it seems likely that Hoosier cabinets were not infrequently paid for by husbands anticipating improved performance in the bedroom as well as the kitchen.—Excerpted from The Hoosier Cabinet in Kitchen History by Nancy Hiller, author of Making Things Work

About nrhiller

cabinetmaker and author
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3 Responses to The kitchen cabinet that could save your marriage

  1. danhperry says:

    We have a version of this cabinet in our dining room. It was my wife’s great aunt’s. Still holds up today.

  2. maross1248 says:

    My mother-in-law had a very similar cabinet in her kitchen.

  3. neitsdelf says:

    We use ours as a fabulous liquor cabinet. The pull-out counter is especially useful.

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