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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Vocalex Kitchen  
  Voice command automatic kitchen.  

Ah! The ideal kitchen, as seen from the vantage point of 1951.

...at the peak of the television boom, every bride dreamed of owning a vocalex kitchen someday that would exactly obey her most casual command to heat a roast for such and such time and baste it at such and such intervals.

With the deluxe models, of course, came a set of flavor-fix rheostats which, among other talents, could mix salads according to the recipe of a famous chef slightly better than the chef could himself.

Technovelgy from The Jester, by William Tenn.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1951
Additional resources -

Compare the vocalex kitchen with the autonomic food-processing system from Philip K. Dick's 1964 novel Cantata 140 and the kitchen korner from William Gibson's 1996 novel Idoru

Roboticists are working hard to make this idea a reality; see KAR Kitchen Assistant Robot Joins Kitchen Bot Squad for a rundown on recent efforts.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Jester
  More Ideas and Technology by William Tenn
  Tech news articles related to The Jester
  Tech news articles related to works by William Tenn

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