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"A New England Kitchen"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This print of a " New England Kitchen" was published in 1876 and offers a highly idealized view of life in the 1770s. Every human in the picture is working -- save the young boy holding a honey pot and placed directly in the center. Even the female baby to his right is play-working, as she holds a mortar and pestle; at her feet is a frying pan. Missing from the picture is the man of the household, whose place is clearly outside the domestic sphere. Images like this were often made and distributed in the second part of the 19th century, part of a process that created an image in the popular mind about New England. This image of a thrifty, forthright, and hard-working New Englander, competed in the popular mind with that of the stingy, closed-mouthed, and cold "Yankee." The new image would become the dominant depiction.


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