Sunday, April 25, 2010

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

The next time you find yourself exhausted with the daily chores of domesticity, think about what our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers went through....

A few excerpts from the 1936 edition of "The Household Bookshelf" (Lord, Pierce, Thomas and Balderston):

"The electric dishwasher is a comparatively new arrival in the field of household equipment. Women may disagree as to its advantages and disadvantages, but after a fair trial there are few housekeepers who would willingly part with a good one. The washer can be installed as an integral part of the the sink; or a portable one that is wheeled up to the sink for filling and emptying and pushed out of the way when not in use may be a better choice." ** (mom had FOUR of those wheeled-up types; they were named Ron, Vanessa, Courtney and Ashley and when it was time to wash some dishes, she wheeled our asses up to the sink.)

"For emergency use many housewives keep what is called a Plumber's Friend. This is rubber suctioncup, which dislodges the mass of grease or food so that it can be flushed away. Partly fill the sink with water and then press the cup down hard against the drain outlet. Work the center of the cup up and down so as to get pressure and suction in the trap..." **(I think any house with a man in it fits this "emergency" scenario for needing a "Plumber's Friend.")

"Where garbage is collected it still must be stored temporarily. Strong tightly covered containers are necessary, for in the city there are dogs and cats if not skunks. Line the cans with newspaper or use waterproof garbage bags. Some housekeepers think these expensive, but they do protect the can from moisture and also greatly lessen work of cleaning.....Country storage of garbage requires pits dug so deep (grave deep, 6 feet) that prowling dogs or other animals, especially skunks, cannot get the scent of the food...." ** (not just deep, GRAVE deep)

"Only a well-insulated ice box is worth buying. A good refrigerator should keep an average temperature of 50 (degrees) Fahrenheit in the warmest part of the food compartment; 45 (degrees) is a good average for the coldest parts, although a few degrees lower do no harm" ** (HOLY SHIT!! HOW DID EVERYONE NOT DIE???)

"...The newest sweepers all have a screw to control the tip of the mouthpiece so that the article to be cleaned gets full benefit of the suction. If this screw is not used, then there is little control over thick and thin rugs. Many who do not get good returns from their cleaners are not using this regulating screw." **(oh, I think they're getting screwed just fine....)

So, ladies and gentleman, curse not your daily chores or the equipment you have by which to accomplish them. It could be much worse...and has been.

5 comments:

Mother B said...

As I recall, wheeling your asses up to the sink to wash dishes wasn't all that easy. I remember setting up the rule that if you played sports or had after school stuff or if you were a senior, you got a waiver. It seems to me that in all those cases, you somehow slipped through some of the cracks in the requirements and the only ass that was up to the sink was Momma-mias!!!

betty crocker said...

aw, come'on Mom! THAT"s all you have to say?

Mother B said...

How about.....I love you!

Word verification.....mundut and I mean it!

betty crocker said...

I feel my funny dying, dying...

ash said...

the real reason i got a job my junior year wasn't to make money...it was really to get out of washing the dishes... :-)