Des Plaines History Center
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The Kinder House

The Kinder House

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To begin, continue reading or scroll down to the audio link below. Then click the last link on each page to continue the tour to the next room.

Benjamin F. and Elizabeth Kinder and their children owned and operated Kinder Hardware in Des Plaines from 1873 to 2003. In 1907, the business was successful enough to build one of the grander houses in Des Plaines.

The Kinder House was built in 1907 with simple “Queen Anne” style architecture. The architecture was a little old-fashioned for 1907, but the Kinders built a very modern house. There are no fireplaces for heat; they put in a coal-fired boiler system.  A laundry chute ran from the second floor, through the kitchen, and into the basement. The house was lit with combination gas and electric fixtures because electricity was not as reliable as gas at the time. Vacuum cleaners were the latest convenience but very large appliances, so the Kinders installed a central vacuum system.

Note: When playing the audio links, your mobile web browser may open a separate page or media player on your device to enable the audio. If so, you may need to use the "back" button in your browser to return to the tour.

First room: