At the Stove
At the Stove
This chapter analyzes the space of the home, particularly the areas of the kitchen and the dining room. Focusing mainly on the disappearance of the servant from the household, it retraces the gradual replacement of human domestics with technical appliances in the process of automation, mechanization, and electrification. The shift of subaltern functions from humans to things uncovers a vast process of substitution, illustrated here with the history of the so-called dumbwaiters. Using the examples of Thomas Jefferson's revolving serving door and Gaston Menier's ‘first cafeteria,’ the chapter discusses various kitchen and tableware utensils that contribute to the pervasive disappearance of human servants from the household. Michel Serres' concept of the quasi-object will help explain the central notion of delegation employed here.
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