Frankfurt Kitchen (1927)


This educational film from 1927 compared work processes in a traditional kitchen with movement patterns and task-specific motions in the newly conceived Frankfurt Kitchen. In particular, the film aimed to show housewives how much time and energy could be saved through the rationalization of kitchen work. Among other energy-saving measures, the Frankfurt Kitchen reduced the distance a housewife had to traverse during meal preparation from about 90 meters to eight.


New Building [Neues Bauen] in Frankfurt am Main. Part II.

Efficient housekeeping through new building.

How did work have to be carried out in an old-fashioned kitchen?

How much work does the woman have to do before she puts the pot on the stove?

First, the wood has to be chopped.

Tinder paper is removed from the drawer.

The fire is lit.

Supplies are taken out of fragile, decorated, dust-catching spice and storage tins.

The haybox is too far from the stove and so low that the housewife has to bend down to use it. It is upholstered on the inside with non-washable fabrics and is therefore unclean.

Cooking on the coal stove is unclean, unhygienic, and hot; cleaning the stove is laborious.

The big old-fashioned kitchen is a waste of time and energy for the housewife.

The new “Frankfurt Kitchen” in urban dwellings with built-in furniture saves time and energy for the housewife.

The pots are no longer stored on solid wooden shelves but rest on wooden grates with their handles facing outward.

The swivel chair, which can be adjusted to any height by any woman, allows her to do most of her kitchen work sitting down.

When vegetables are being chopped, the vegetable waste is pushed to the right and into a built-in waste chute.

The parboiled food is pushed into the haybox, which is located directly next to the stove.

The supplies are stored in aluminum drawers.

The waste chute is emptied into the waste bin, which can be accessed from the kitchen and the hallway.

The dirty dishes are taken with the left hand from the left side, washed, and put back on the left on the drain board.

The ironing board can be lowered from the wall in one simple movement.

The dotted lines represent the distance that the housewife has to traverse in the kitchen countless times a day (approx. 90 meters).

In housework, as in factory and office work, the goal must be maximum performance with minimum effort.

Total distance covered by the work process just described (8 meters).


Translation: GHI staff

Source: Die Frankfurter Küche (1927) [The Frankfurt Kitchen], short documentary. Director: Paul Wolff. Produktionsfirma Humboldt-Film GmbH (Berlin). Dr. Paul Wolff & Tritschler Historisches Bildarchiv (Offenburg)

© Dr. Paul Wolff & Tritschler Historisches Bildarchiv (Offenburg)

Frankfurt Kitchen (1927), published in: German History Intersections, <> [November 29, 2023].