This Week in Universal News: A Model Kitchen, 1934

This week’s Universal News features a story from 1934 about a model kitchen run by the Detroit Free Press  It is a local story and was only shown in movie theaters in Detroit.

From the release sheet:

WIVES TAUGHT TO COOK IN NEW MODEL KITCHEN SET UP BY NEWSPAPER.  Detroit Free Press runs a test kitchen: the Tower Kitchen of the Detroit Free Press Institute of Home Economics.  Wives are taught the basics of cooking in a modern 1934 test kitchen by Marion Sawyer, Director and her assistants Elizabeth Stringer and Alice Boter.

Watch this story along with another “local”, from Lexington, Kentucky by clicking here.

Brochure from the Universal News production file.

Click through the slideshow to learn more about “the most beautiful and splendidly appointed [kitchen] in all America”!


About the Universal Newsreel Collection at NARA:

The Universal Newsreel Collection is one of the most used motion picture collections at the National Archives and Records Administration. Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. Each release usually contained five to seven stories averaging two minutes in length.

In 1974, Universal deeded its edited newsreel and outtake collection to the United States through the National Archives (NARA), and did not place any copyright restrictions on its use (some stories may contain other underlying intellectual property or proprietary use rights).

While Universal disposed of many of the soundtracks, leaving the newsreels incomplete, supplementary material like scripts, shot lists, and event programs can be found in the production files, available for research at Archives II in College Park, Maryland.

Learn more about the Universal Newsreel Collection in this post and in this Prologue article. Watch other Universal Newsreels in our research room, in OPA, and on this playlist.

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4 Responses to This Week in Universal News: A Model Kitchen, 1934

  1. Sharon says:

    I have in my possession several programs from Cooking Schools sponsored by the Joliet Herald News in Joliet, IL and local commercial enterprises. They were held over a period of several days at the Jewel of Joliet, the Rialto Theatre during the 1930’s. My maternal grandmother attended them and kept the programs. Among the many classes in the schedule, Depression-era participants learned how to make do with less. They were also given cents-off coupons for grocery items.


    • Audrey Amidon says:

      That’s so interesting! I had no idea that newspapers played such a large role in home economics education in the 1930s. I am familiar with government programs such as the USDA’s Extension Service that did similar things, but it seems like the Detroit Free Press and the Joliet Herald News were kind of like the America’s Test Kitchen or Food Network of their day. Thank you for your comment (and to Jim, of course, for finding and posting this story)!


  2. fjk says:

    This was really fun to read and watch. Thanks for posting this.


  3. Jem Kerry says:

    Great story behind the new modern kitchen.!


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