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Hoosier Cabinet

It would be difficult to find a piece of American furniture with more historical significance than the Hoosier cabinet.

Nancy Hiller

The cabinet’s built-in sifters, ant-proof casters, slide-out countertop, tin-lined bread drawer and homemaker’s “Daily Reminder” to-do list (just to name a few noteworthy features) hold clues to many details of domestic American life, especially female life, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Hoosier was initially developed to take the place of servants, common in households of the middle and upper classes until industrialization lured them into factories. The disappearance of domestic help left housewives with an overwhelming workload, and (to make matters worse) a distressing ignorance of basic baking, meal preparation, and kitchen management tasks.

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June-July 2017

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