From the Ar­chive

The recipe for a per­fectly mod­ern be­tween-the-wars kitchen may be gleaned from il­lus­tra­tions in Gor­don–Van Tine’s book of ready-cut (kit) homes. Daven­port, Iowa: “The Kitchen,” 1926

Arts and Crafts Homes - - CONTENTS - by Bo Sul­li­van

Hints for an au­then­tic 1920s kitchen.

ACHECKLIST OF AU­THEN­TIC DE­TAILS, should that be your goal: 1. Whitepainted, fit­ted wood cab­i­nets with no toe-kick spa­ces. 2.Over­lay draw­ers and flush in­set doors with sim­ple cup­board latches and bin pulls. 3.Low-hang­ing up­per cab­i­nets run­ning to the ceil­ing with a small-scale crown mould­ing. 4. A cheery linoleum floor vis­i­ble even un­der a wall-hung drain­board sink on legs. 5.Free­stand­ing work­table, a cast-iron range, and, per­haps, a break­fast nook. Not ev­ery in­gre­di­ent, though, is palat­able to mod­ern taste. Com­mon for the pe­riod but harder to swal­low are wooden coun­ter­tops, split hot and cold taps, the sin­gle-bulb ceil­ing fix­ture as the only light source, and an open un­der-sink area (where we stow clean­ing sup­plies and trash). With roots go­ing back to 1866, the Gor­don–Van Tine Com­pany took its name from own­ers Ho­race Gor­don Roberts and Harry Van Tine Scott. It be­came a pre­em­i­nent early-20th-cen­tury sup­plier of mill­work, build­ing ma­te­ri­als, and house plans. Their pre-cut house kits com­peted di­rectly with Sears and Aladdin; after 1921 the com­pany even pro­duced Mont­gomery–Ward’s Ward­way Homes. Thou­sands of Gor­don–Van Tine houses re­main across the coun­try, though few orig­i­nal kitchens sur­vive. a

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