II.1.1 Gas pipe
One change in the appearance of the kitchen in 19th is that the gas pipe was established. The gas pipes were first laid in
Europe in the late 19th century and gas stove started to replace coal-fired stove. However, the replacement of the latter was
slow. Not only the for gas stove, gas was used for lighting purpose. Wax candle was changed into gas light. Gas lighting was
relatively safe, but very dirty since the unburned particles in the flame of a gas burner left dark grey shadows. (3)
II.1.2 Water supply
The domestic water supply in most towns was still very irregular, and even in some well-to-do areas at the beginning
of the century it was only available three times a week. When running water became freely available, it seldom supplied
any part of the house except the basement. It served the kitchen sink, but the servants and to carry it upstairs for other
uses. Sometimes, the family member took bath in the stone floored back kitchen, in hot water brought from the water pipe.
II.1.3 Other Inventions
Many English kitchens had one common book: The Beeton's Book of Household Management. This book was necessary
guide of the manner and attitudes of Victorian Households. In addition, the first practical storage refrigerator was marketed
in the late 1880s although not many kitchens had it because of the high cost. (5)
The newly created
inventions were continuously changing the appearance of the kitchen.
II.2 20th & 21st Century Kitchen
Following the end of World War II, massive demand in Europe for low price, high-tech consumer goods led to Western
European kitchens being designed to accomodate new appliances. (6)
The fifties and sixties were
prosperous times; there was great demand for domestic goods and most kitchens became easier place to work in, with
refrigerators, pressure-cookers, extractor fans, floor-polishers, washing machines, spin-dryers, and dish washers.
In past decades, satisfactory domestic equipment was available to wealthy people, but others
had to manage largely with what they could make themselves. Today, modern production can supply things of quality for
III Korean Kitchen in History
III.1 The Korean Kitchen from 1800 to 1900
Joseon was the state preceding Korea (1392-1910), thus covering the period from 1800 to 1900.
In addition, the kitchen was regarded as outside part of the house. Although the kitchen. was attached to other part of the room,
there was no or only one connection to other rooms.
III.1.2 The Joseon Dynasty and the Kitchen
The Joseon Dynasty accepted the Confucianism. Confucianism stressed the tradition, so the Joseon people were mostly conservative
and thus, rejected 'new things' from foreign countries. As the result, there were only mere changes in the shape of the kitchen
during the Joseon Dynasty, which only opened up to trade with the west from 1876 on.
III.2 The Korean Kitchen from 1900 to 1950
The first change in kitchen happened in 1876 when Busan, Wonsan, Incheon opened the port.(8)
the port, many Japanese style houses were built, the reform campaign started in 1910 by people who saw Japanese house and
kitchen was the first target of the reform. Park Gilyong was the first designer who insisted the reform of the kitchen into a 'modern one.'
As the Japanese occupation started in early 20th century, more and more Korean house followed the style of
Japanese by changing the kitchen building inside the house. However, the Ondol system was still used and the interest on the new
kitchen system greatly increased. (10)
III.3 The Korean Kitchen from 1950 to 1960
III.3.1 The Effect of the Korean War
Massive change in kitchen occurred between 1950 and 1960, after the Korean War happened. After the Korean War was over, the
whole country started reconstruction in 1954. At this period of time, the new form of kitchen was introduced. The new form of kitchen
followed that of Europe and at this period of them, the piped water (water supply system) was established except the high elevated
areas. Therefore, people no more had to carry water from well to kitchen. (11)
III.3.2 Coal Instead of Wood
Another key feature of the kitchen during 1950-1960 is that the main heating source changed into coal from wood. The Agungi (Ondol
system) is no longer used as the newly built kitchen followed European Kitchen system. Also, there are lack of wood right after the
Korean War as the most of the trees in the forest had been burnt early in the war.
The change in heating system altered the tableware of Korea, which was one of the key feature of the Korean traditional kitchen.
The brass tableware, which was originally used, could no more be used in the kitchen because it was difficult to maintain as the
housewives have to polish it every day. Also, the chemical reaction with coal changed the color of the brass tableware so easily,
so after 1950s, the tableware changed into stainless and nickel silver ware. (12)
III.4 The Korean Kitchen from 1960 to 1990
As the technology developed, many convenient things such as detergent were accepted from abroad into Korean kitchen. The
appearance of the kitchen started to change following the technology during this period.
In 1970s, skyscrapers for residence were widely popularized and the kitchen was no more regarded as the outside part of the
house. Also, the water supply system enabled the sink and the sink helped hygienic care of the kitchen, as the water no more
splashed all over. With the sink, the refrigerator placed in the kitchen. This period, the change in appearance of the kitchen usually
followed the development of the new technology. (13)
Korean kitchen was far behind the high technology kitchen of Europe. But the Japanese Occupation and opening the port made
it possible the kitchen of the Korea to be improved. The Korean War destroyed almost every house on the land, which later made
it possible the introduction of the wide popularized modern kitchen during the reconstruction time. On the other hand, the European
kitchen was not developed after a great incident. The new invention and technology enabled the change in the appearance of the
However, although the process of the development of the kitchen was different, the Korean and the European kitchen was similar
in that the kitchen's importance increased more and more. As the technology develops and the new appliances were introduced
to kitchen, the kitchen became much more attractive. The kitchen of Korea, which was regarded as the outer part of the house,
became a part of the house, meaning the importance increased significantly.
In addition, the change of the appearance of the both kitchen helped the rise of the social position of the women. Better equipment in
kitchen, such as sink, washing machine, and so on reduced the burden of women and gave them great amount of free time, which
made it possible that the women to go out and do their own economical work.
During the last 200 years, Korean kitchen and European kitchen developed in different ways. The Korean kitchen began changing
in the 20th century after the opening of the ports and during the Japanese occupation. The significant change of the appearance of
the Korean kitchen was achieved after the Korean War. However, the European kitchen always changed after gradual improvement
of technology. But kitchen is kitchen. Both kitchens are similar today in that the women no more had the full burden of the housework
as the change in the appearance of kitchen. What's more, kitchen in Europe and Korea nowadays have the same purpose with
1. History of Kitchen
2. Harrison 1972
Article : Kitchen, from Wikipedia
8. Ham Hanhee 2005
Leadbeter's Renowned Stove Polish
Image: System of Ondol, changed after image posted on
Lee Eun Jeong's blog
on May 11th 2008
Image: Structure of the Kitchen,
changed after image posted by Narcis
on May 4th 2006 on Daum
Note : websites quoted below were visited in July 2009.
Article: Kitchen, from
Article: Refrigerator, from
Article: Electricity, from
History of Kitchens, from
My Home Renovation
Harrison, M.: The Kitchen in History, New York : Charles Scribner's sons 1972
Image: Leadbeter's Renowned Stove Polish, produced by
Goodwin Gas Stove & Metes Co., image held by The Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia,
posted by Women's Work in the Long Nineteenth Century, http://www.kennesaw.edu/hss/wwork/domesticity/mh/cik_main2.htm,
here taken from Gender, Media, Politics & Law
by S. Gallagher
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