Libby Owens Ford

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Libby Owens Ford was a major American glass manufacturer and in the 1940s presented the public with their vision of the post-war kitchen of the future.

Not surprisingly, it involved a good deal of glass.

At first glance, the Libby Owens Ford Kitchen looks like a set of wood paneled counters, but when the lids were raised it revealed a battalion of state of the art gadgets; everything from built-in mixers, bacon fryers and waffle irons to a glass oven and a strange hole to stuff tins in for heating.

Shrapnel protection was optional.

The only thing that seemed to be lacking in this kitchen of tomorrow was a cutting board, which was conspicuously absent, so the counters must have been a mess.  Most everything tucks away in to drawers or beneath bench lids of disappears into hidden cupboards.  Indeed, if it weren't for the oven and the shelves full of pickle jars it would be hard to tell the buttoned up kitchen from a rec room.

And that was the basic idea:  Make a kitchen that folds itself away and becomes something else.  Unfortunately, family rooms and kitchens mix about as neatly as oil and battery acid.  Look at this guy, for example, who is playing ping pong in the "kitchen" while his wife is making supper.   Last time I tried that I slept in the settee for a week.

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