What's in a Name Plate?

ELINOR GOTTLDINQ SMITH lives in Searsdale, New York. She has hern a frequent contributor to these pages.


I’M ALL worn out. I’ve been scrubbing and polishing. Spring cleaning? No. Closets? No. Silverware, shoes, woodwork? No. I’ve been polishing up all the manufacturers’ names on the fronts of my appliances.

I have a nice modern kitchen, with good equipment, and everything designed for easy upkeep. My appliances are porcelain, counters plastic and stainless steel, cabinets baked enamel, floor linoleum, and everything seamless and with rounded corners for easy cleaning. Everything, that is, except the chromeplated lettering on the front, of my range, refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, drier, and vacuum cleaner.

The lettering is large, raised, prominent, ugly, and perfectly designed to catch dust, grease, lint, scouring powder, and threads from the cleaning cloths. I like to keep my kitchen clean and shining — and I do, too. Except for those maddening names. To get those clean, you’d have to take a day oil and poke in among the letters with little cotton swabs or something. I don’t even know if you ever could get them clean.

Besides, I object strenuously to advertising on my own belongings. If they want to advertise their ranges and refrigerators, let them buy space for it. Or let them give me the appliances free.

I never heard of a carpet manufacturer weaving his name down the middle of his carpets, or a dress manufacturer sewing his label on the outside of the dress. Builders don’t affix large signs with their names on the buildings they have built. Why, then, must I have trade names shouting at me all over my kitchen and distracting me when I’m baking a pie? I don’t, like it. Why can’t they tack neat little smooth, washable name plates on the insides of the doors like any other self-respecting manufacturers?

And in the meantime I wish they’d come and give me a hand with my polishing. I still have forty-seven letters to go.