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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tidy Tuesday - The good ol' days

When was the last time you darned socks?
Years ago, I came across a little treasure of a book, written in 1909  entitled,"When Mother Lets Us Help".   It was written to help young boys and girls learn how to properly take care of their home.  Let me just say...times have  changed!  We might think housekeeping is a pain but have you ever considered what it would be like without electricity or modern plumbing?

In the chapter on tidying the bed room, the author gives instructions on how to empty the wash bowl and slop jar.  What?  Gross!  There is also a reminder about taking care that your candles are long enough to burn until the next morning.  I don't think I'd ever sleep if I thought a candle was burning somewhere in the house!
Gotta polish that silver!

Did you know that you're supposed to polish the silver every week?  Apparently so.  I don't even OWN any silver  :)

Have you ever heard of an ice box?  That's what people used before refrigerators.  It looked something like a refrigerator but kept things cool with a big block of ice.  In caring for your ice box you are supposed to clean it twice a week and be sure that the inside stays below 50 degrees.  50 degrees is considered totally unacceptable by today's standards!

The ice box
Your stove would be fueled by wood in 1909 and you'd have to know how to adjust the heat and keep it going and not burn down the house.  In fact, your whole house would be heated by wood...which is probably why they made such a big thing about Spring Cleaning.  Houses got really dirty during the winter with smoke and soot and stuff like that.  Oh, and the books notes that chimney fires are common...just pour table salt down the chimney from the roof!  Aargghhh!!!
Does this give you an idea of how blessed you are today?  I love indoor plumbing, my furnace, electricity, my vacuum and of course, my refrigerator  :)


  1. I agree! Housework took a different kind of work. It always does depending on what you make from scratch (candles?). And then the labor-saving appliances take time, too. Do you remember defrosting freezers by putting pans of hot water in them? That could take all day.

    1. Ummm...I still defrost my freezer with pots of hot water :) And you're right, we have traded one form of housework for another. Example - cleaning a George Foreman grill is not a fun process!