The White House Kitchen has had numerous renovations over the years, however one of our favorite story’s is of the Roosevelt administration. In 1933 Ms. Roosevelt’s housekeeper, Henrietta Nesbitt, toured the kitchen finding it in a troubled state with outdated appliances, bad wiring and that even uninvited vermin had taken up residence in the kitchen (and no, that’s not a dig at any politicians of the era!).
“There is only one solution,” she reported to Mrs. Roosevelt. “We must have a new kitchen.”
In 1935 company’s like General Electric and Westinghouse were contracted to help modernize the kitchen including new appliances such as six roasting ovens, a sixteen-foot-long stove, eight refrigerators, five dishwashers, a soup kettle, a meat grinder, waffle irons, multiple mixers, a thirty-gallon ice-cream storage freezer, and a deep fryer that held five gallons of fat.
Here are some photos pre-renovation:
By the end of 1935 the renovation was complete:
Sources: National Women’s History Museum, National Parks Service and the White House Museum
Happy Presidents Day from the Grand Kitchen + Bath team!