The birth of the Kitchener
Manufactured in cast iron and heated by solid fuel, the Kitchener
could be used to boil, roast, bake and warm - all from the same
heat source. It was hailed as one of the greatest domestic
institutions of the 19th Century. Indeed a contemporary advert at
the time described it as...
"the most ready means of performing in the best manner,
either separately or at the same time, all the operations of
cooking with only one fire, and that an open one, which may be of
any size to suit the kitchen of the smallest cottage, or the
largest mansion or hotel.... its arrangement is so simple, in every
department of the culinary process, that servants cannot easily
disorder or mismanage it."
Following the death of William Flavel in 1844, his son Sidney
took over and ran the firm. In 1851 he exhibited the Kitchener at
the Great Exhibition, in Crystal Palace. The exhibition celebrated
the supremacy of British manufacturing and was attended by Her
Majesty Queen Victoria, along with her aunt, the Duchess of
Gloucester. The Duchess was so impressed with the Kitchener she
ordered one for Kensington Palace.
Between 1851 and the turn of the century, the Kitchener won many
more awards throughout the world. As the Victorian era wore on, the
Kitchener went from strength to strength. Its status was recognised
by everyone from Edward VII and the King of Italy to the Emperor of
Germany - who all had Kitchener stoves.