It is snowing today in Vienna, with a respectable 14-16cm expected before it ends–our first real snow of the season! What better day, then, to visit the city’s little-known Museum of Heating Culture? The museum is in Meidling, Vienna’s 12th district in the southwest part of the city and well, let’s just say it is rather off the beaten tourist path, and surprisingly well-curated.
The museum offered technical exhibits on how Vienna’s schools and other public buildings are heated and the like, but I was more interested in the historical and cultural aspects of heating. During WWI the Wiener öffentliche Küchenbetriebes (Vienna public kitchens) churned out loaves for the Army. Not surprising, but what captured my attention was the city list on the oven; in particular, the little city of Saginaw, Michigan, USA. Certainly the odd man out on the list, and I wonder what it means. Post-war, the kitchens were utilized to serve the midday meal and snack in the city’s schools.
During WWII, large public kitchens were established to feed patients in military hospitals; and later, the men reconstructing Vienna. Don’t those women look happy in their work?
Reminds me of my kitchen in the U.S.
This is a coffee machine created by Löblich & Co., a Viennese company since 1738. Their design received a gold medal at the Paris World Exposition in 1937.
My inspiration for visiting the museum was to see its display of ceramic furnaces. I have fallen in love with ones I have seen in palaces big and small around the country, and if I had a real home here I would be in search of one as a decorative element. For now, the photos will appease me.