• Kochkiste olso Krieg und Technik © Technisches Museum Wien, Foto: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Everyday Life
Household Technology
Everyday Life - directions for use
1910 - 1919

The OLSO haybox


During the war, coal was not only in scarce supply, it was also rationed. Economical heaters and cookers were meant to alleviate the hardships. Kocht mit Kochkiste! [Cook with a haybox!] was one of many recommendations.

With coal mining and transport capacities restricted due to the war, there was a widespread shortage of coal and therefore gas and electricity, too. So any food that was still available, like beets and potatoes, had to be cooked as economically as possible.

A haybox helps to keep food cooked on a cooker at a warmer temperature for longer, replacing the need for more heat from the cooker and for more heating material. The system itself had been around for some time, but it was perfected during the First World War. More heat could be released inside the haybox from below and above by inserting ‘heating stones’, i.e. fireclay bricks heated on the cooker. An example of this new type, the OLSO haybox, went on show at the ‘ersatz materials exhibition’ at Vienna’s Prater exhibition grounds in 1918. It was also advertised as an ‘automatic cooking, frying and baking appliance’ designed to safeguard consumers from ‘coal and gas shortages’. Women’s associations provided instruction courses and inexpensive kits for building simpler DIY models. Type-specific brochures describe the particularities of this cooking appliance and the recipes best suited for it.

Inv.Nr. 19067/1
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