In the comments of the previous post, several of you mentioned that you were not familiar with water pumps in kitchens, so I will tell you a little bit about them here. 

The 17th and 18th century Dutch were (and still are to a degree) somewhat obsessed with cleanliness and housewives and maids were forever scrubbing, mopping and washing.  Nowadays I would say 99,99% of households are connected to mains water of course, but before mains water was common, many houses had a water pump in the kitchen.

 Pieter Janssens Elinga, ca. 1670, HermitageSint-Petersburg
No kitchen pump but a maid cleaning...notice also the Delft blue tile mopboard.
Pump systems with a tank and valves have been around since 200BC  when Greek inventor and mathematician Ctesibius invents the water organ.  In the 16th and 17th century many more inventions and developments on the water pump followed in Europe and developments continued worldwide into the present day.  In the local archives I even found a 1588 patent for one by Otto Barentsz. from Amsterdam (?). 

1588 patent water pump ( photo source))
The water in the city canals was filthy with sewage and other waste and deemed unfit for drinking even in the 16th century.  Except for cleaning the stoop and street in front of the houses, canal water was not used.  The water needed for all that washing and scrubbing came from groundwater wells and from rainwater collection.

Even this cleaner water was not generally used for drinking.  Clean (drinking) water was expensive and shipped in from the countryside.  Most people drank a very weak beer.

Kitchen pump with one handle (without internal cistern?).  Museum van Loon, Amsterdam.  
The wells for groundwater were often located in the yards close to the kitchens.  Rainwater was collected in a system of tanks and stored in a tile lined brick reservoir, often dug into the basement areas or into the gardens.  Rainwater tanks could also be found in the attics of the houses.  The poorer households made use of public wells.

17th century kitchen in the Menkemaborg, a country house near Groningen, the Netherlands
The well water and rainwater tanks each had their own pump system, so on some kitchen pumps you could see two pump handles and two large taps, each for a different water system.  Other houses had the systems separated, one in a pump house attached to the kitchen and the other one in the kitchen itself.

Kitchen pump and tap (with internal cistern), Menkemaborg
By moving the pump handles up and down or sideways, water was pumped from the large holding tanks into a small cistern located inside the kitchen pump.  With the two handled pump, the cistern would be divided into two separate areas so the water did not mix.  The tiny brass spout to the left of the big tap (photo above) is the overflow for the cistern.  With the cistern filled up you just turn the tap(s) to run the water.

Wall fountain at the Menkemaborg.  
The tanks in the attics provided water pressure to the floors below and made running water from a tap possible without the need for a pump.   That's what the small taps on some kitchen sinks are for.  Running tap water was sometimes also provided to a wall fountain with wash basin in the hallway.  (see photo above).  

Wonderful (silver?) tap on the wall fountain at the Menkemaborg.
Although not much is known about the personal hygiene in the 17th and 18th century, I have seen fountains for washing hands in several large houses.  The one at the Menkemaborg could be a 19th century one, I don't know, but in the 17th century dolls' houses a number of miniature silver fountains for washing hands can be found.

That's all I know about the kitchen pumps and their water supplies.  Below some photos of kitchen pumps I made in the past for several roomboxes.

Kitchen pump (no cistern), 17th century style roombox No. 1 (by Josje)

Kitchen pump (no cistern), 17th century style roombox No. 2 (by Josje)

Kitchen pump in miniature kitchen (19th century), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Copy of a kitchen based on the miniature kitchen at the Rijksmuseum (by Josje).  See blogpost here.

Kitchen pump (with cistern) from the kitchen mentioned above (by Josje).  See blogpost here.




Thank you for all the lovely comments on my previous post on the kitchen.  I had a problem posting my replies, they all seem to have disappeared into thin air...



I continued working on the kitchen.  As I mentioned in my previous post, removing the side wall exposed the unfinished side of the water pump.   I had wanted to tile it with a lovely flower scene I had painted a few years ago, but it just didn't fit nicely on there so I decided against that idea.

The best option was to just take the top off and put a new one on there around the tree sides.  As always with these types of changes, I ran into all kinds of little things which needed adjusting because of the changes.  But one thing at a time and eventually it all fitted back together again.

still didn't make a new handle for the pump.  As I mentioned six years ago as well ;-) this one is far too big.


Next on the list was finishing the wall on the right side of the room.  I wanted a simple white plastered wall and continue the skirting board of Delft blue tiles.  The tiles then serve as a true mopboard, protecting the walls from splashing water when mopping the floor.

Unfortunately I lost all of my tile files during a computer crash a few years back, so I had to start all over again.  It was a lot of work to find all the right tiles, get them the right size, colour etc. to print them and use them like I did on the other wall.

On to the ceiling.  I found photos of a Herengracht basement kitchen on a real estate website.  The photos clearly showed where the ceiling beams were and how they were part of the structure of the building.  The 18th century dolls house belonging to Sara Rothé shows the same position of the beams in the kitchen.  A cross beam supports the fireplaces on the floors above.

In my kitchen the beams supporting the walls are all plastered over, the rest of the beams are visible.


I made a wide chimney breast over the AGA cooker.  The chimney breast would have been much lower originally but I didn't want to cover up the tiles on the wall.  It was probably shortened during some renovation in the past ;-)  



In a drawer I found a battery operated strip of LED's.  I have never used LED's before but I thought they would look nice inside the large chimney breast.  So I cut off a length and soldered them to the wires of a transformer.  These run on 4,5 Volts.

With normal light bulbs it doesn't matter, but with LED's it is important to connect the plus and minus correctly.  If the lights don't work when the power is on, the wires may be the wrong way round and you'll have to change them over.



I really like the effect of the light coming from the chimney.  For the AGA flue pipe I made a simple round connector into the chimney.  Once the ceiling is permanently attached, the AGA will be kept in its place this way.


More lights were needed of course.  I had kept two applicator caps of hair colour bottles in my stash for years.  They have the perfect shape for pendant lights.  

Making the lights was fairly easy to do:  I cut off the screw tips, primed them, sprayed them a marble colour, cut plastic inserts for them, glued on metal caps, cut brass tubing and threaded wired bulbs through them, glued it all together and finally installed them.  Installing them was the most difficult part!


I must say I think they are a success, I really like them.  Such a pity they changed the bottle caps on the hair colour bottles! ;-) 





And finally, just for fun, another shot of the kitchen in progress.  A little further back.  A messy worker...who?  Nooooo, not I.... ;-)