Mom will not be isolated here….
This 1953 advertisement for wood KitchenMaid cabinets illustrates the effort and innovation that went into making the modern housewife’s daily chores seem easier…glamorous, even.
In fact, many historians now point out that, while ‘labor-saving devices’ indeed made individual chores easier… the cumulative effort of all the chores was as much or more than ever… because in earlier eras, a housewife (or some percentage) had more outside help. For instance, grocers, milkmen and pharmacists used to deliver to your door – one reason that households only needed one car. In addition, the pressure was on, more than ever, for everything and everyone to be 100% tidy and clean – this was part of ‘fitting in’ in America – so Mom was constantly on the go.
All that said, I am not of the school that looks at these 50s achievements as evidence of women’s oppression. Net net, it all reads positive to me. My kinfolk came from hardscrabble – farms and coal mines. They had “enough” but holey moley, they were on the edge. The last 50 years – no question, an amazing leap forward.