Just like Mom's!

In the 1950s advertisers and retailers idealized the kitchen as the housewife’s realm, a symbol of fulfilling domesticity. Toy kitchens fostered pretend-based play that reinforced expected gender roles for girls—and introduced them to the culture of consumption. 

Toy kitchen from the Sears catalog, 1950s

Toy kitchen from the Sears catalog, 1950s

Courtesy of Sears

“What a dream of a kitchen come true! What a wonderful setting for you!”

–From a song in a TV commercial for Kelvinator refrigerators, 1950s

Pretty Maid toy kitchen, 1950s

Pretty Maid toy kitchen, 1950s

Pretty Maid toy kitchen, 1950s

Pretty Maid toy kitchen, 1950s

Ad for a real Frigidaire, 1959

Ad for a real Frigidaire, 1959

 

Notice how mom (in heels) and Sis are serving up bounty from the refrigerator freezer. And don’t miss their crowns—a crown was the Frigidaire logo, but also played on the stereotype that mom was happily Queen of her realm!