Great article at slate.com
Here is a link that might be useful: Woman who Invented the Kitchen
Interesting that she had no actual practical experience putting a meal together. Article says she couldnt cook but based her kitchen design theories on the baking of a cake, the one thing she could do in the kitchen.
Their family was the basis for the book Cheaper by the Dozen
I suspected it might be Lillian Gilbreth before I clicked the link. She and her husband went into factories and such and revamped the work stations there, so a kitchen was probably easy for her, even though she couldn't cook. I read the books her children wrote when I was in high school. And she had 11 kids!
Had to chuckle at the last picture in the article. That could have been my grandmother's kitchen, border on the linoleum floor and all. The same kitchen table and chairs, although Grandma's was off to one side with a bench against the wall. The kitchen had been rebuilt after a fire in 1938, and the cabinets, the pulls, the metal trim on the counters, even the bread box are very, very similar. It was a very workable kitchen, and pleasant to be in--mostly white/off white, with a gray floor and bits of red and black trim.
In the bottom picture, of the 1920s kitchen, what do you think is the roll hanging on the side of the cabinet above the sink? In today's kitchen it would be paper towels, but surely not then. Wax paper? Butcher paper?
I did some digging, and paper towels were invented around 1910. Scott Paper made the first kitchen paper towels in 1930. So it is barely possible that those are paper towels in the picture.