Kitchen appliances turning into time machines

Modernizing your home is a popular winter time pastime in Kitimat and elsewhere, these days.

Modernizing your home is a popular winter time pastime in Kitimat and elsewhere, these days.

You have to keep your home up-to-date to maintain its market value don’t you? Well, in most places, yes, you do.

People, of course, do  still want to be trendy  and in pursuit of  being trendy some people are installing very modern and expensive kitchen appliances.

That’s no surprise, but it’s a bit more surprising to look at the equipment itself, because some of it has been designed to look a lot like century-old antiques.

For $5,000, an Ontario company will sell you a wood-fired kitchen stove in a design that was popular around 1850. But it still provides all of the benefits of the more modern technology, just well hidden.

There’s a line of refrigerators too, that are appropriately named the 1950 models – but these also cost about $5,000 and, if one is so inclined, for an extra $800, you can even get a dispenser that provides ice-cold draft beer.

But the units still look like good old 1950s refrigerators.

Not only that, if you want to customize your kitchen and make it look a lot like a 21st Century version  of your mother’s kitchen in 1950, you can buy a customized retro-style 1953-model microwave (something I don’t think they really had in the 1950s) or a replacement 50s-style door for you up-to-date built-in dishwasher that will match your stove and fridge.

To me it’s kind of interesting to think it’s possible to literally step back in history by walking into your kitchen – a place that in more recent years has been the household epicentre of electronic, microwave and digital modernization – and all without losing the ultra-today benefits of the most up-to-date technology.

This old-new kitchen equipment is so reminiscent of being in a “Leave it to Beaver” episode, although I doubt Ward Cleaver ever drew a pint of cold draft from his kitchen fridge.

Frankly, I’m not sure if that’s for me, at least at this point in time – I’ve barely moved forward enough from the Fifties to master the defrost cycle or the kitchen timer in my built-in over-the-oven microwave, not to mention the various touch buttons on my glass-topped convection stove.

I was wondering too if there will be a heck of a lot of demand if this trend extends to other parts of the home.

I know I prefer my 42 in. LCD HD flat screen TV and satellite service, with its convenient multipurpose remote control, to the 15 inch black and white box, complete with rabbit ears, that provided me with such nice early-morning test patterns and grainy views of two periods of NHL hockey from Toronto or Montreal only, in New Brunswick in the real fifties and sixties.

I don’t fancy exchanging my refrigerator’s ice machine for an heavy ice box with bulky ice blocks – no matter what its appearance.

I’m certainly disinterested in swapping my wireless phone for a rotary on-the-wall telephone with a party line where a quiet, but cunning nosey neighbour could stay on the line and listen to your conversations.

I’d not be keen on returning to cheques in the mail with envelopes and stamps, compared to the modern convenience of on-line banking – although 1950s billing (in dollars) has a nicer ring to it than my 2011 natural gas bills for heating.

I like to be able to see the outside temperature on my truck dash and know within a few kilometres how far I can go before I have an empty gas tank.

I’ve pretty well mastered my GPS machine. I like satellite radio and movies that I can view off a memory stick. I could not go back to film in a camera, with flash bulbs.

But something you can’t do these days is sit through two continuous shows at the movies – and leave at the place where you came in.

Alas, not everything has changed for the better.

 

ahewitson@telus.net

 

 

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