After 1900 ‘Home economics’ was being taught for the first time, treating home planning and operation as more of a science, rather than mere survival.
In 1902, an “Ideal Kitchen” was described in ‘House Beautiful’ magazine:
“Something along the lines of a Pullman-car kitchen, or a yacht’s galley or a laboratory [or] the scientific cleanliness of a surgery”
And in 1907, ‘Sanitary News’ wrote:
“the modern American home must have a perfect system of hot and cold water supply; an inoffensive and sanitary system of disposing of household wastes; an adequate system of automatically controlled heating combined with ventilating; and a convenient complete system of artificial lighting”
These changes, though desirable, did not happen overnight. Many homes did not modernize until much later. In homes where the unmarried daughter lived on in her parents’ house until her death – as late as the 1970’s or 1980’s – often nothing changed in the house.
By the 1920’s, modernization – for most households – was thoroughly underway.
Running water was in most homes in towns and cities, and gas was introduced as well, providing heat when required, with no hauling coal or wood to keep the fires burning.