Smiling siblings, helping out in the kitchen? No water fight, no whining, or accusatory sponge-throwing? Such a scene is not my idea of a mess, not by a long shot. But I'm not going to fault Westinghouse for this seeming disconnect; in fact, given the timing of the ad—1944, by my estimate—such a peaceful situation is rather poignant. As the manufacturer explains, the washer/dryer being promoted would not be available until after WW2. Am I stretching things to equate clean dish towels with the white flag of surrender?
Leslie Clagett is a seasoned yet passionate observer of the international kitchen
and bath industries, and the founder of KBCULTURE.com. An editor at publications ranging from Arts +
Architecture to Kitchens & Baths, she is also the author of The New
City Home [The Taunton Press], among other books. Leslie has a
tremendous respect for quality design and the people who labor in its
pursuit; her discerning eye has been known to get a little misty in the
presence of true beauty.