Cooking on a cast iron cook stove, circa 1890.
flipFlip to Housewife in a model electrical farm kitchen, July 1936.
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Black and white image of woman at the stove.

Credit: Courtesy of Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, Pennsburg, Pa.

For close to a hundred years the cast iron cook stove was a fixture in American farm kitchens. In the 1930s, rural electrification offered rural families the promise of the convenience and cleanliness of the all electric kitchen. Gone would be the drudgery of chopping and transporting wood, the feeding of fuel and cleaning out of the ashes, the stove-top heating of water for dishes and bathing, and sweating over a hot stove in summer. Gone, too, would be the pleasure of warming by the kitchen stove and another piece of rural self-sufficiency.

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