The "Modern" Home of 1946
Students will identify some of the innovations in the homes of
1946. Students will compare and contrast the "model"
Cleveland home of 1946 with the "model" Cleveland home
- What were homes like in 1946?
- What were some of the more "innovative" ideas for
the kitchen and the home of 1946? Are these items still considered
innovative today, or are they accepted as common or basic items?
- Ask students what appliances they think every kitchen should
have. Answers will vary, however, microwave ovens, coffee makers,
dishwashers will be some of the "newer" basic items
children will probably mention.
- Ask students what appliances they think the kitchen of 1946
- 50 years ago, used.
- Distribute readings on "ELECTRICAL LIVING" and "What's
New for Your Home" to students. Have them read through the
articles and identify innovative appliances and equipment. List
them on the board. How many of these items are used today? How
many of these items are considered "basic" necessities
in the home (items found in most homes today) and how many are
still considered "luxury" items (items not found in
the majority of homes today)
Innovative appliances and equipment: automatic laundries,
all-electric kitchens, air-conditioning, dishwashers, garbage
disposal, freezers, refrigerators with freezer units, electric
ranges with automatic timers, electric clothes dryer, automatic
clothes washers, automatic stokers for furnaces, filter units
that purify the air, electric blankets, plastics -- for windows,
structural material, screening, woven fabrics, waterproof covering
for food and other perishables (ask students what we call this
today? -- plastic wrap such as Saran Wrap) wall coverings, furniture
- Display copies of 1946 floor plans of new homes. Have students
compare these plans with floor plans for new homes today. (Bring
in some plans of homes from current magazines such as Better Homes
and Garden or the Sunday Newspaper for reference) How have the
plans of "new" homes changed? (number of rooms, types
of rooms, environmental concerns, use of space, etc.) Do a cost
comparison of the 1946 home and the 1996 home.
- Ask students to think of an appliance that they think would
be "innovative" today or an "innovative" home
floor plan. Encourage students to be creative and to consider
current issues today such as environmental, resources, recycling,
lifestyles, etc. They could be designed to solve a particular
problem they have identified. They are to draw their "innovative"
appliance and include a written description of the item, why they
designed it, and explain its use. They are to draw their floor
plan and include a written description and rationale of their
"innovative" plan. Students may then present their creations
to the class.
This activity could also be designed for cooperative groups as
a problem solving activity. The teacher could pose a "problem"
or the class could identify a "problem" that would require
the development of an appliance or equipment for the home or require
a new home floor plan. Each group would design their own, and
develop a presentation that would then be judged in a competition.