A woman and child pictured beside a kitchen range in slum property c 1910. The photograph may have been taken in connection with a scheme to provide poor mothers with milk for their babies.
The kitchen was the centre of activity in old tenement flats. In the case of a single-end flat, it was the only room. Beds, sink, coal bunker, cupboards, pulley, fireplace and cooking range would all be crammed into a small area.
The cast iron kitchen range was standard in tenement buildings, a heating and cooking tool. A large cast iron kettle stood on the hob keeping the water warm. Every effort was made to keep the fire alight over night, especially in winter. This was done by saving old tea-leaves and potato peelings, mixed with dross (coal dust) and cinders and placed on the fire before going to bed.