This video from YouTube shows the drudgery a British housewife feels during a typical wash day in the late 1940s. As the video progresses, we see the new appliances that were coming onto the market. The narrator offers tips on how to organize and plan for laundry day so that the time and effort are used efficiently and to maximum effect.
I recommend this video not only as an extension of the conversation. It shows just how much a housewife in the past had to know. The expectations were very high. Learning how to use the different types of washing and pressing devices required clarity and attention to detail.
Housework really was a form of domestic engineering or domestic science. We need to rethink and look at the level of discipline the role took and the quality of life the homemaker created for her family. I don’t think families appreciated all the little details a mother did like press tablecloths, towels and sheets. My Mom refused to get to that level of detail but my Grandmother did. Today, the place where I can experience neatly pressed and folded sheets and towels would be in a hotel. And that comes with a price well over $100+ a night, even at a budget hotel.