21 Days of Chicago Lightning – Teasers, Tidbits, Trivia (Day 8 – Hoosier Cabinet) by Kaye Spencer #roaringtwenties #romanticsuspense #ProhibitionEra

Chicago Lightning is a romantic suspense novel that begins with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago on February 14, 1929 and ends around midnight two days later in Five Points, New York City.

Preorder HERE

The Day 8 topic of my 21 Days of Chicago Lightning is a snippet, and a deeper look, from the book that takes place in Ceara’s parent’s kitchen.

Ceara closed the kitchen curtains, took off her coat and hat, then followed the aroma of potato soup to the pot on the stove. Lifting the lid, she breathed in the simmering, creamy steam to which her empty stomach grumbled a reminder of how hungry she was. Another familiar aroma of fresh-from-the-oven yeast rolls prompted her to peek under the tea towel draped over a brown stoneware bowl. It was so good to be home.

Talk around the table turned to the happenings since her one visit home, and she pushed her worries aside as she soaked up every word, every gesture, every bit of laughter. It was as if she’d never left home at all.


Although Ceara marries a Chicago gangster, which elevates her social standing from poor working class to upper class/elite, her heart remains in her childhood neighborhood in Five Points (Lower Manhattan) New York City. While I didn’t describe the kitchen in her upper class house in Chicago, we can assume it had every modern convenience, and then some.

I envisioned her parent’s kitchen resembling this 1920s working class kitchen displayed in this McFarland Historical Society museum exhibit. Read about this exhibit HERE.

1920s Exhibit – McFarland Historical Society museum

You see the ice box, cooking stove, small kitchen table, and the free-standing Hoosier cabinet. While you don’t see a sink in this exhibit, it’s there somewhere. Homes had running water to the kitchen and bathroom. Others still carried water from the back yard or a pipe/pump situation was constructed to get water to the house. Electricity made its way into urban homes not long before the turn of the century 1900 and most homes had electricity by 1930. Electricity didn’t make it to the rural areas for several more decades.

There is a free-standing cabinet on the back wall of the exhibit. This is a Hoosier cabinet, aka Hoosier. These cabinets were popular in the U.S. at turn-of-the-century and into the early 1900s, because built-in kitchen cabinets and countertop work areas weren’t the norm. These free-standing cabinets offered an efficient and attractive combination of storage and workspace. Read a brief history HERE.

The Hoosier cabinet in the exhibit resembles the Hoosier cabinet I inherited from my maternal grandparents who brought the cabinet from Lamoni, Iowa to Ft. Morgan, Colorado c. 1925. The picture of the tag is on the underneath side of the pull-out porcelain table.

Kaye’s Hoosier cabinet








I also have this McDougall cabinet, which is a ‘new and improved’ type cabinet from the Hoosier. It has more bells and whistles.














Until next time,
Kaye Spencer

Look for Kaye here:


Day 1 – Jan. 25th – Chicago Lightning – book video
Day 2 – Jan. 26th – Popular Songs of the 1920s
Day 3 – Jan. 27th – Notable Events of the 1920s – 1920 through 1924
Day 4 – Jan. 28th – Notable Events of the 1920s – 1925 through 1929
Day 5 – Jan. 29th – Chapter 1 Micro Excerpt
Day 6 – Jan. 30th – Slang – 1920s era
Day 7 – Jan. 31st – Pre-order
Day 8 – Feb. 1st –  Hoosier Cabinet

Day 9 – Feb. 2nd – ‘Roaring 20s’
Day 10 – Feb. 3rd – Chapter 2 – Micro Excerpt #2
Day 11 – Feb. 4th – 4 Roaring Twenties Movies
Day 12 – Feb. 5th – 1928 Phantom 1 Rolls-Royce
Day 13 – Feb. 6th – Speakeasy
Day 14 – Feb. 7th – Chapter 2 – Micro Excerpt #3
Day 15 – Feb. 8th – Pre-FBI – brief history
Day 16 – Feb. 9th – 1920s radio
Day 17 – Feb. 10th – Release Day, Micro Excerpt #4, and bullet resistant clothing
Day 18 – Feb. 11th – “The Hedge”
Day 19 – Feb. 12th – What did it cost? 1925-1929
Day 20 – Feb. 13th – Hello? Who’s calling?
Day 21 – Feb. 14th – 1920s reference books and book video


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