Ah Yes! The Glamour, The Style!
But could you really? Actually BE a 1930s Girl?
I’ve been thinking and I’d like to take some of the 1930s but no, I couldn’t imagine my life in that era at least not in the Northwest of England.
We’ve evolved and grown in an era of abundant choices.
Here are a few examples we take for granted.
Career options. TV. Computers. Telephone. Supermarkets. Online shopping. Wide ranging public transport. Cars. World Travel. Communication. Equality…ok ok, not quite but much more than back then.
The above are a very few examples but imagine living as a young woman in the 1930s
In 1936 when the book “Cookery ILLUSTRATED and Household Management” edited by Elizabeth Craig was printed the author was clearly passionate in her belief that as a woman she had a place in life.
My Grandma was 30 years old. Her Mother bought this book for her.
There are a few things to consider. There was no Tv. No internet or social media, heck that only came about this century! Books were in short supply. A day out to Blackpool on the tram was a methodically planned as a modern family would plan a 3 week trip to Florida!
Calories had been discovered and women began following fad diet ideas such as the Lucky Strike diet….. reach for a fag instead of a sweet! Or the calorie book, ” Diet & Health: With Key to the Calories ” by Doctor Lulu Hunt Peters.
So here’s the thing, my Grandma grew into a woman in an era where expectations based purely on gender were key to success. Whether your husband turned out smart, if you even had a husband! If your doorstep was scrubbed and polished to the community accepted standard.
Some advice remains solid, good advice for women and men alike in the year 2017…
1. Shop personally.
2. Remember that a bargain is not a bargain when you do not need it.
3. Buy in quantity goods that store well.
4. Watch the newspapers and food bulletins for cheap offers. * What is a FOOD BULLETIN?
5. Cheap food is not necessarily inferior.
Did you see now this chapter that began ” Keeping down the household bills” goes? No mention of the electricity use or how to use your car economically or buying clothes because if you had that kind of luxury then you had no need to have this book in the first place I thought , however, on further study of this book, its a progressive read, a self improvement book, a book with goals to aspire to. “Care if the gas cooker” and a stark warning in the “Care of the electric cooker” with “There is no excuse for allowing electric stoves to become dirty” Omg! Imagine the peer pressure, the gossip, “ere, did you see Mrs B’s cooker? ‘Er poor ‘usband workin’ all day down’t pit and all she ‘as to do is keep house….. with her children…remember NO TV or Internet. Actually in Lancashire the man would have worked in industry or factory or cotton Mills and the woman did not only do the house work, manually, hard… she probably worked 10 hours in the mill herself!
So you’re a woman in 1936 Uk from a very working class family and you are gifted this book and on page 644 you read the chapter heading
” HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT, Entertaining without ……..A MAID! ”
So step by step you learn how to cope hosting breakfast for your husband without a maid. Nice.
Remedy for mosquito bites: dab the bite with solution of carbolic 1-20 to which a little eau de Cologne has been added. The solution can be made up quite cheaply by any chemist and 4 to 5 oz will last the whole summer ….even if used by Many People! Hint: Never go to Africa or India without a bottle of this mixture. (Didn’t the 1930s woman do Benidorm?)
My Grandma had no need for information of this kind, we took her to Calais on a day passport in 1983.
The title “Marketing” should get your tastebuds going
Marketing in the 1930s book began…. ” When fish are fresh, the flesh should be firm, gills red and the smell should not be strong…. blah blah blah…
Titles such as ” How to lay the table ” or ” washing up” didn’t the 1930s woman have a dishwasher?
By the way, Grandma had her first gill when she was 39, the very day she took over as lady licensee of her first public house!