Monday, November 21, 2016

A foreign country...

A few months ago, I bought a bound volume of 1925 "Good Housekeeping" magazines. The book sits on my desk and every day while I'm waiting for my computer to chunter itself into readiness I read a few pages. I was born in 1950 - only 25 years after these magazines appeared - and yet they seem to portray a different world from the one I remember from my childhood. But the past 25 years seem to have passed in a flash.

The above advert for knitting wool, for example, with its references to Granny's "shrewd old eyes" and "gnarled and seamed old fingers" - so flattering to grannies! But one of my grannies was only 55 when I was born and I imagine this was the case for many grannies in the days when women tended to have babies at a younger age.

And I know it's an advert, but - attitudes to housework have possibly changed somewhat. This text may have been written by a man - you think?

And as for this one - if only it were that simple. It makes me think of my grandfather, who was very interested in medical matters - he was a vegetarian in the 1930s, for example, which was very unusual then. He was a great advocate of wholemeal bread, which was again quite unusual among Scottish people at that time. But he didn't claim it as a cure for cancer!


  1. I guess they could claim anything because nothing was proven. (or disproven!) I just did a bunch of housework and I did NOT enjoy it.

  2. Haha -- what a fun book. I do like having a clean house -- it's just the "getting there" that's not fun. I laughed at the idea of dusting ornamental china as being pleasant -- it's understandable though -- they didn't have our amazing variety of fabrics and sewing goodies back then, or surely they would have re-defined pleasant LOL!

  3. Anonymous6:06 pm

    There was so much more dust in homes in those years, especially coal dust and that was the bane of my Ma's life, living near the mines as we did.

  4. I too enjoy old books about housekeeping. How time have changed. I have one recipe book, a Kindergarten fundraiser, that includes a recipe for oyster soup, using a pint of oysters!! Imagine making that today - in New Zealand they would cost some hundreds of dollars, they're about $2=£1 each oyster!!