House and Home

vintage housewife dishesFrom a book called

    The House and Home: A Practical Book

written and edited By Lyman Abbott with chapters by various other authors,  published in 1896:

“GOOD housekeeping involves a knowledge of art and science. A knowledge of the first is essential if the element of beauty is to be in the home; a knowledge of the second is essential to the health of the home. A good housekeeper is an executive officer, an accountant, a chemist, a sanitary officer. She possesses more than an elementary knowledge of hygiene. She is a household physician and possesses, either as a gift or as the result of training or both, the elementary knowledge at least of a trained nurse. On her diplomatic abilities depends the harmony of the home. Her social graces determine to a large degree the social opportunities of the family at home and abroad. In short woman as a home maker is responsible for the health and the happiness of her family whether that numbers two or more.

Never in the history of the family has it been so possible for a woman to gain the knowledge which fits her to meet the demands of her position as chief officer of the household as to day. Science is her handmaiden, invention a servant following her- often preceding her to light the path where she had not yet discovered the need of light. Science and invention have revolutionized housekeeping. They have made it possible for a woman to fill the office of a housekeeper and yet have leisure to enjoy the graces of life. Woman is the power she is to day in the church, in charity, and in the philanthropic world because science and invention have freed her from labor that women of preceding generations were compelled to do with their own hands for the preservation of the home and the comfort of the family.

Whether woman will abuse the freedom, and in the first flush of liberty that should mean leisure enchain herself to outside responsibilities until home becomes the secondary, not the primary, object of her life, future years will determine.”

 

P.S. don’t miss the HG’s post on habits and routines, and a great giveaway!

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4 Comments

  1. Frances
    Posted January 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Doing the dishes in heels – ouch!

  2. 6 arrows
    Posted January 5, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Whether woman will abuse the freedom, and in the first flush of liberty that should mean leisure enchain herself to outside responsibilities until home becomes the secondary, not the primary, object of her life, future years will determine.

    Sadly prophetic.

  3. Posted January 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I think we are way past the days of June Cleaver and Donna Reed in their heels and pearls! But I do respect women who choose to stay home and raise their children. What bothers me are women who have children for the sake of having children and allowing the village to raise their kids! Bull! I am glad I had a mom who was able to raise me while my father worked a very physically demanding and hard job as a steelworker. I have good values, am morally responsible, and am well adjusted having been raised in that household. My middle sister was divorced early in her marriage and did a beautiful job of raising of raising to wonderful girls who today are living very different lives except for the fact that they are raising remarkable wonderful children too. While I was writing this my hubby was in the kitchen refilling my teacup!

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted January 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      The picture was just for fun- the text is far older than the cleavers, since it’s published in 1896.

      Fwiw, my hubby breaks me coffee in bed any morning that he’s home when I wake up, and I still think the article was dead on target.

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