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The webmaster, Pat Cryer, as a young child

The early 1940s kitchen:
kitchen cabinets

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1930s and 1940s style kitchen Easi-cabinet

Kitchen Easi-cabinet, photographed in Tilford Rural Life Centre. Pastry boards pulled out as well as dropped down.

Ours had a separate, matching full-height cupboard on the right.

As explained on the 1940s house page, the most up-to-date 1940s English suburban semi-detached houses were built and furnished in the 1930s. There were no fitted kitchens, but the kitchen cabinet was certainly the forerunner as it had cupboards, shelves and drawers integrated into a single piece of furniture. Every kitchen seemed to have one.

These cabinets were made by several manufacturers and all went by different names. Ours was called the 'Easy cabinet' and my cousin's was the 'Maid Saver'. If yours was called something different, please let me know.

It was a combination of two cupboards at the bottom, and two inset cupboards at the top. Between them was a storage space and a pull-out enamelled surface for rolling out pastry.

Our Easi-cabinet was varnished wood of a medium colour which would have been called 'light' in those days of dark wood almost everywhere. I suspect that it came with the house when it was built as there were identical ones in other kitchens in the road.

The photograph shows the cabinet combination which was closest to ours out of all those I have seen in museums. Museums, naturally enough, exist to display what they have, which is why so many doors and drawers are open and so many objects are propped up. In a real 1940s kitchen, everything would have been tidied away after use.

Our Easi-cabinet had a separate, matching shelved cupboard, butting onto it on the right which is not shown in the photo. It was the same height as the Easi-cabinet and including a tall, narrow slot for an ironing board. All sorts of things were poked inside it, including the electric iron.

If you can add anything to this page, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Pat Cryer, webmaster

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