The RCA Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen of 1957 was a futuristic and innovative kitchen exhibit that was showcased at the American National Exhibition in Moscow, Soviet Union, during the height of the Cold War.
This exhibit was a collaborative effort between the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and Whirlpool Corporation and was designed to showcase the latest advancements in American consumer technology and the American way of life.
“In this kitchen, you can bake a cake in three minutes. And in this kitchen, the dishes are scraped washed, and dried electronically. They even put themselves away.
Even the floor is cleaned electronically. So welcome to this new wonderful world of pushbutton cooking, cleaning, and homemaking.” — from an RCA Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen promotional film used during the fair.
The Miracle Kitchen was designed to demonstrate the convenience and efficiency of modern American kitchen appliances and showcased a range of cutting-edge appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, and more.
It was a highly automated and futuristic kitchen for its time, with appliances and gadgets that promised to make daily life easier and more efficient.
One of the most famous features of the Miracle Kitchen was the “Dishwasher of the Future,” which was a fully automated dishwasher that could wash and dry dishes with minimal human intervention.
This was considered groundbreaking at the time, as it represented a significant leap in household automation.
The Miracle Kitchen was not only a display of technological advancements but also a symbol of the American way of life and the prosperity of the United States during the 1950s.
It was intended to showcase American innovation and contrast it with the Soviet Union’s more traditional and collectivist lifestyle.
The exhibition was visited by many Soviet citizens, including the then-Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, and it garnered a lot of attention and debate during the Cold War era.
It served as a symbol of the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in various spheres, including technology, consumer goods, and cultural influence.
“Out of the great laboratories where researchers and engineers look far into the future, where fantasy is molded into reality, where tomorrow is as important as today, where all the wonderful RCA Whirlpool Appliances for 1957 were born — comes another dream for tomorrow — the amazing RCA Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen!
Here, truly, are appliances of the future — RCA Whirlpool Appliances — that perform fantastic chores and services at the touch of a button or a mere wave of the hand.
No longer is the homemaker tied to sink and stove. No more need she spend long hours peeling, cutting, mixing foods; cooking by guessing, and hoping not to over- or under-cook dishes; scraping, washing, drying, and putting away all the paraphernalia of preparing, cooking and serving a meal.
In the exciting RCA Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen, all this – and more – is done for her automatically, completely, and quickly. At last, she is entirely free of the dull monotony of routine kitchen-keeping!”
“Settle yourself into the specially designed contour chair at your Planning Center and see how the Miracle Kitchen works for you. The family is off to school and work; and it’s time you got things organized for the day.”
“But first, another cup of coffee. You go to your beverage dispenser and there’s your coffee served to you. Had you wanted hot tea or cold milk – it would have been no problem.
Your versatile dispenser offers you a choice of beverages, served at the right temperature at the touch of a button. A separate compartment stores bottled beverages, also available at a wave of your hand.”
“Back at your Planning Center, you relax in your contour chair. Before you start your day’s chores, better look in on the baby. A flip of a switch allows you by means of a closed circuit television set, to look into the nursery.
This system is located in the center of the Planning Center and can be used to communicate with every room in the house, visitors at the front door or to receive your favorite TV programs. It can be revolved to be viewed from any part of the Miracle Kitchen.
Softly, a voice reminds you, “The bridge club will arrive at 12 noon for lunch.” This is actually a message being played back to you that you recorded the day before. By setting a timer at the time you recorded the day before.
By setting a timer at the time you recorded the message you were sure to be reminded of this in sufficient time to prepare the luncheon. This recorder is also your private telephone.
Twelve friends in for lunch? That’s no problem with this Miracle Kitchen-it will even plan your meal for you! Touch a button and on the screen in front of you appears the menu you have chosen as suitable for the occasion.
Next you’ll want to check your supplies. A touch of another button and before you appears an up-to-the-minute inventory of food on hand.”
“Now to select your china, silver and glassware for the luncheon. Touch a button and the china is taken automatically from its storage cabinet, transferred to the self propelled serving cart, and taken to the luncheon table.
A wave of your hand and the refrigerator is lowered to a convenient level and you select the foods you need. Wave your hand again to raise the refrigerator up and out of the way.
Salad vegetables to be prepared? Simple…just drop them into the automatic vegetable preparer unit, set the dial, and in seconds they are peeled, pared, diced, sliced or whatever you wish. Wastes are automatically disposed.”
“And now for the cake. Everything is at hand in your complete mixing center. In the utensil storage compartment you have exactly the utensil you need, kept bright and clean. At a wave of your hand the mixing unit drops down.
On the control panel you select the proper mixing or blending action for the speed and time required. Making special mixtures is a snap. Best of all, each instrument is cleaned electronically immediately after use.
Only an hour until the guests arrive? Plenty of time. Your RCA Whirlpool Electronic Oven will bake the cake in only three minutes — cook the vegetables in seconds-broil the chops in minutes.
Just set the timer — never bother about temperatures — and you cook right in the dish or platter you plan to serve in. When you cook electronically only the foods get hot, their containers stay cool.”
“Oh yes-the laundry. Better get that done so the afternoon will be free. There’s plenty of time — and nothing to it, really.
All you do is put the soiled clothes into your RCA Whirlpool washer-dryer combination and set the dial. Automatically clothes and linens are washed, rinsed, and dried in one continuous operation; you never touch them.
Might as well do the floors, too. A touch of a button at the Planning Center brings your mobile floor cleaner unit from its storage compartment.
It scurries about vacuuming up loose particles, then scrubbing and rinsing the floor. Having completed its task, it returns to its niche, empties the waste, recharges itself and is ready for your next call.”
“The doorbell rings. You look at your closed circuit TV monitor and see your guests are arriving.
You go to meet your friends, knowing that your wonderful electric kitchen will carry on to complete the operation of your luncheon and everything will be ready for the table at the time you have designated.
Luncheon over and a table full of dirty dishes. A touch of a button and the self propelled serving cart rolls up to the table. You place all the dishes on it, and it goes back to its compartment.
Silently, quickly it scrapes the dishes, disposes of the wastes, then washings, rinses, dries, and stores all of the dishes in the special cabinet adjacent to the dishwasher…all automatically.
You’re planning to be gone for the rest of the afternoon and won’t be home until just before dinner. But no matter —tonight you’ll call on your magic Meal Maker. You have a wide variety of meals to choose from.
You just select a menu and foods move into the proper cooking or warming compartments. Seconds later your meal is ready to be served at the table.”
“And there are many other wonderful, wonderful time and labor saving conveniences in this fabulous RCA Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen of yours.
For instance, there’s no more struggling with a can opener. When you want a can you merely dial for it. How do you want it – opened, closed, contents emptied into a pan or dish? Dial it, and you get it, as you desire it!
No more tussling with ice trays either. Place a glass or container under the dispenser — and all the ice just as you want it-cubes, crushed, any way-is delivered by your Ice Maker.
And, you’ll never get tired of “looking at the same old kitchen” every day. A the touch of a button your control panel you can change the entire lighting and color scheme…for hot days, a cool blue…for cold days, a warm pink…or perhaps a combination of these colors better suits your mood.”
“Then special cooking utensils are placed on the semi-circular surface surrounding the Planning Center, the food inside them quickly heat sot the desired temperature.
As both the utensil and the cooking surface remains cool, this area can be used as an informal dining surface. All smoke and cooking odors are eliminated by being drawn into the Electric Purifying System built in the Planning Center
When you think of all the amazing things this RCA Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen can do to make your every day living much more pleasant and work-free, it seems truly fantastic.
But when you stop to consider the tremendous capabilities of the great laboratories that create and develop all the fabulous RCA Whirlpool Appliances it doesn’t seem so impossible that many of the exciting new appliances and conveniences in this kitchen of tomorrow are actually available today!”
“Here today is the RCA Whirlpool Electronic Oven that cooks a complete meal in minutes — bakes a cake in 3 minutes — roasts a turkey in 75 minutes — and cooks just about everything you want in minutes instead of hours!
You merely set the timer and cook in the same dish or platter you wish to serve in!
Here today is the same RCA Whirlpool Washer-Dryer Combination that washes, rinses, and dries all your clothes and linens in one automatic operation! It’s a full-size washer and a full-size dryer in one compact 33-inch unit!”
“RCA Whirlpool Automatic Washers…with every convenience to wash every kind of clothes and linens cleaner, more gently.
RCA Whirlpool Automatic Dryers…real time and work savers that dry clothes and linens gently and properly.”
“RCA Whirlpool Refrigerators and Freezers…preserve and freeze foods at the correct temperature.
They are available in the glamorous Mark XII matching units that, as in the Miracle Kitchen, may be built-in to conserve space — and in combination Refrigerator-Freezer models, as well as separate Refrigerator and Freezer units.
RCA Whirlpool Automatic Dishwasher and Food Waste Disposer…end the monotony of doing dishes and the mess and fuss with garbage.
The dishwasher automatically washes dishes, glassware, silver, pots, pans and utensils sparkling clean, dries them perfectly, and if you wish, even stores them for you!”
“Here today, too, are these other fabulous RCA Whirlpool Appliances that have been conceived, developed and quality controlled by the same brilliant researchers and engineers that created the fantastic Miracle Kitchen…
RCA Whirlpool Built-In Gas and Electric Ranges…give you unusual beauty, efficiency, and conveniences — all built-in as you want them!
RCA Whirlpool Electric Ranges…with built-in features that give you every way to cook automatically!”
“All these wonderful appliances are available for you right now…in a kitchen of tomorrow — magically transformed into practical reality for today-the complete RCA Whirlpool Kitchen for 1957!”
(Photo credit: RCA Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen of the Future Brochure via Whirlpool Corp/ Pinterest / Wikimedia Commons / Russian Archives).