[Sca-cooks] Question about kitchen equipment (OP)

Elaine Koogler kiridono at gmail.com
Tue Aug 24 12:36:40 PDT 2010

Hi Folks,
This question is a little weird as it deals with neither modern equipment
nor period stuff, but rather something we saw on our vacation.

We went to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.  Now you probably
already know that Mr. Jefferson spent considerable time in Europe...and that
he was an avid collector of technology.  On our tour, they showed us a
number of things that he found in Europe, then came back and had built for
himself.  However, the tour did not cover the kitchen so they didn't point
out his technological contributions there..  As you will see in the
photographs <http://picasaweb.google.com/kiridono/MonticelloKitchens#> that
I've uploaded to Picasa, there were several items that I have not seen in
other contemporary kitchens:  a kind of stove on the on the left...places
below for loading in wood and openings on the where pans on tripods (or not)
could be set for cooking purposes; a boiling "pot" in the corner with a
place below for loading in wood; and a "rotisserie" mechanism on the
fireplace.  The first two are really similar to those found at Hampton Court
and other late period kitchens in England.  The last one is very similar to
pictures of crank mechanisms seen the drawings from Scappi.  Jefferson's
travels included both England and Italy, so the place is reasonable. Just so
you'll have some context, Monticello has been restored to the period when he
retired from public life after his Presidency...late 18th/early 19th c.
Neither Ashlawn (Monroe) nor Montpelier (Madison), both contemporary with
Jefferson's home had these kind of structures/equipment.

So...what do you guys think? Did our ever-intrepid Mr. Jefferson bring these
ideas home as well?


"It is only with the heart that one can see clearly; what is essential is
invisible to the eye."
--Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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