Preparing dinner for 8 in Technicolor in 1934

The thread about pre-1970s scenes looking muted in recent movies/TV shows made me think of “Mrs. Mortimer Jones Prepares ‘Dinner for Eight’”, a 1934 promotional film for Southern California Edison that was among the first projects to be photographed in 3-strip Technicolor. This 11-minute film can be viewed at:

Her kitchen is certainly colorful, but there’s one food safety issue that might make us blanch today: she leaves the roast in the oven for almost 2-1/2 hours before it actually starts to cook. That’s a long time to leave perishable food with neither cooking nor refrigeration!

That’s really cool, thanks for posting. Very much a promo piece; anyone who cooks knows that those newfangled electric kitchens don’t help nearly as much as that piece portrays. Still, fun!

I don’t know that I would worry much about the roast being left out for that long; I’ve left out similar large pieces of meat for that long to come to room temperature before roasting. Sure, it’s not the recommended way of doing it, but assuming she’s roasting until the outside is suitably charred, a roast oughta be safe enough.

Hamburger? No way. But big chunks o’ meat are generally safe except for the outside. Plus, if she’s only roasting that baby for what? An hour and a half? Even at 350, it’s gonna be very, very rare inside. It better at least be room-temp before it starts, and even then, you better like rare meat.

But who knows? Maybe that Southern California Edison stove truly IS magic!

I’m more concerned that she pulls a rack out of a preheated oven with her bare hand.

Yeah, I thought that was weird too.

I like watching videos from many, many decades ago and really paying attention to the little details and compare it to how things are today.

Thanks for posting this!