When Americans Dreamed of Kitchen Computers

Honeywell Kitchen Computer Neiman Marcus Catalog 1969 Courtesy Computer History Museum

A brief history of a moment in time when the concept of a kitchen computer bedazzled the American imagination from Atlas Obscura.

This is a question many American families find themselves asking daily. It’s not a new question, either. Generations have debated the delegation of kitchen duties, often touching on class, race, and especially gender. Most frequently, women have taken on home cooking, which often means hard work for little or no pay. Proposed solutions have ranged from equitable sharing of household labor between all family members, buying pre-made foods, and even kitchen-less homes and communal cooking.

However, one solution to the cooking dilemma has remained in the American cultural imagination: a kitchen computer, one capable of preparing a family’s every meal. Though it might seem like something straight out of The Jetsons, there was a brief period where the kitchen computer was very real indeed.

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