Kitchens of Past Futures

The Frigidaire “Kitchen of Tomorrow” is a lovely example of retro representations of the future. It’s part of Design For Dreaming, a futuristic fantasy General Motors promotional film. This was part of an annual film series feature in GM’s travelling Motorama shows, which brought the future home experience to folks outside of the major cities. Several different future products were introduced including the 1956 car lineup, Frigidaire’s Kitchen of Tomorrow, ‘dream cars’ and the electric Highways of Tomorrow:

An article in the April 1956 edition of Popular Mechanics Magazines described the feature of the Frigidaire Kitchen of Tomorrow:

“Like the dream cars of the motor manufactures, a dream kitchen unveiled by Frigidaire has a lots of starling features -and you won’t be able to buy it for a long time. The oven is housed in a big glass dome to let you see what’s cooking. Surface cooking is done on a marble counter top the induction heating units below that speedily cook food but don’t warm the marble. A punched recipe card fed into an IBM unit controls the measuring and dispensing of the rights of ingredients. Dishes are washed in there minutes by ultrasonic waves. The self-rising sink features a warm air hand drier, power driven pot scrubber and a control that measures out a given amount of water heated to a desired temperature.” Popular Mechanics, April 1956.

Technologies and societies have changed, but 50 years on the future smart homes are still being designed from the top.

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