Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The 1950's Housewife

I love these insights into our social history.

Click here for an insight to the 1920's A Nice Cup of Tea

The 1950's.
When a young woman lived with her parents until she married …
… when wash day was always on a Monday …
… and took all day.

The Gas Council produced this handy little book.
'All About Washday'

A thoughtful guide.
With delightful illustrations especially for ...
 ‘the new housewife ...
… confronted for the first time with a family wash …
… with your husbands linen …
… your own silk and woollen undies’ (woollen - really??)

The guide alarmingly declares …
He will expect you to maintain the high standards to which he is accustomed’
… but then encourages ‘don’t be downhearted

It advices to
 ‘always use the best equipment
... a deep sink, a good wringer, a firm ironing board’

A gas washing machine, it declares 
’saves you much of the drudgery’
… and ‘will give you result of which you will be truly proud’

That is our aim.

It explains how to starch ...
... light (cotton frocks), medium (napkins and tray cloths) ...
... and heavy (shirt collars and damask table cloths).
... how to iron ...
... and, perhaps the most intriguing ...
... how to strip stockings of their original colour and re tint.

With handy hints such as ...
don’t let your clothes get too dirty …
... never skimp any process' ... 
and 'a hurried wash means a dingy wash

or worse than that ...

A badly ironed garment is a most depressing sight!


How times have changed.
Some things definitely for the better …
… some things positively for the worse.

To be doing the weekly wash …
…. dressed in high heels (see front cover) …
… a nipped waisted frock …
… and a frilly pinny.



  1. I can remember wash days when I was a child - Mum had a dolly tub, a posher (a brass sort of funnel on a broom handle) and a washboard plus an ancient mangle. Laundry drying indoors with that smell of Sunlight soap and the blue stuff they used to make the whites look whiter. Thank goodness for automatic washing machines is what I say.

    1. I remember the mangle and washing taking all day!

  2. Like Elaine I am a fifties child so can remember most of the things you mention.
    Shopping daily to make sure everything was fresh :)

    I miss those bygone days I have to say :)

    1. I am a sixties child and can remember things that were still lingering from the fifities and look back on them with fondness.

  3. Just love you wonderful blog. So lovely pictures and handmade things.
    Hugs from Lina


Thank you for your comment - it will be added once it has been verified