The Kitchen Test

Here is Paul Krugman, noting that innovations for the kitchen have slowed down.  He cites this earlier, mid-90s piece of his on kitchens, which I would have cited had I known about it.  His conclusion:

By any reasonable standard, the change in how America lived between 1918 and 1957 was immensely greater than the change between 1957 and the present.

As Krugman did in the mid-1990s, I now cook in a 1950s kitchen and it suits me fine.  I use the microwave reluctantly and when I first met Natasha, eight years ago, she and Yana thought it noteworthy that I did not know how to use the device at all.  I do not see that my cooking stands at a disadvantage.

Alexander J. Field has a long and very good piece on the evolution of kitchen technology.  He concludes:

Aside from the automatic dishwasher in the 1930s (which achieved significant penetration only beginning in the 1960s), the garbage disposer (introduced in the 1950s, but low penetration until the late 1960s) and the microwave oven in the 1970s, there have been no truly revolutionary kitchen appliances in the last eight decades.

Field makes good fun of the electric can opener and the electric carving knife.

Here is a related Krugman post on the 19th century.


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