Housewife of the 1940s

Another post from my previous blog. . . .one day, I’ll get back to posting original content. 

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of research on what it would have been like to live as a home maker in past decades, and I thought I’d share what I’ve found.

The 1940s is a fascinating time period to me.  My parents were born then, the second world war came to the US and the depression was ending.  People were starting to enjoy life again and get behind their country.  Women were very present as homemakers, but moving into industry to fill jobs that men had left behind to go overseas.  Technology was advancing what could be done in a day’s time for a “typical” home maker, like automatic washers.  This was the time when women no longer had to scrub each piece by hand and boil the garments, but they could use a wringer and an agitator all in one.

If you have the time to watch this video on 1940 in America, it is quite “educational”.  The focus of the video is really how much effort or energy a woman uses each day to do normal tasks, like cleaning, preparing a meal or sewing.  There have been many inventions along the way to cope with the difficulties, like the automatic washer and sewing machines.  The real heart of the film, however, gets down to how difficult it is to shift gears in the car, and so women need hydraulic pressure to help cope, which all comes in the end of the film.  It is really the early parts that I wanted to share. . . what the home looks like and what the lady of the house does all day.

This was filmed before the war broke out, so American life was a bit different after 1941.  Also at this point, it is hard to say how this family was doing coming out of the Great Depression and whether or not these would have been traditional “work around the house” clothes.  Regardless, the glimpse at life is intriguing, considering this was a current film at the time.

Easy Does It 1940



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