Nina Daniels



Thursday, March 23, 1950

In maintaining homes, certain routine duties are always necessary as human needs and demands remain the same from age to age. The body must be fed and should be clothed and housed. It is only in degrees and method whereby change occurs. I imagine that Adam and Eve had not progressed far out into a vast and unfeeling world before Adam demanded a square meal and Mother Eve had to hustle around and produce something in the shape of a pie. Maybe crushed raspberries between leaves from the bush.

And the cave-men probably strewed bones all over the place for his women to dispose of. As ages an eons passed, ways and means altered and humans sought out many inventions.

In our town in 1900, while life was not so easy as it is now, industriously it was 100% better than in early days in the shanties and cabins. But instead of the kerosene lamps, housewives merely press a button and the house is alight. Instead of the washboard and tub, they place the laundry in an up-to-date machine and it comes out not only clean, but dry. The various means of processing meats, vegetables, packaged bread, cakes, and cookies make it possible to prepare meals with very little heat, although the majority still prefers homemade food.

The old cracker barrel open to dust and flies which was available in the country store is gone forever; likewise the open lard container. Food is wrapped in cellophane, then boxed. Only raw vegetables can be found without their wrappings.

This revolution came about gradually. Perhaps in giving women equality with men they rebelled against being tied to mops, brooms, pots, and pans continually. But there is more to it than that. The whole pattern of American life was altered with the electrification of methods of living. Then, too, as education became more general, those who might have entered domestic service adopted other callings. As the high schools turned out young men and women who were more cultured and more ambitious, they turned away from the ways of life which formerly were the only ones open to them, and found in higher education and enlarged spheres of activities a more desirable outlet for their young ambitions.

Thus the farmer and the housewife had a smaller field from which to obtain help. Thus they turned to machinery and other easier ways of performing their labor.

So with boxes and packages of food handy, with machines to do the weekly washing, "vac's" with which to clean the rugs, and with the food neatly installed in the refrigerator and an unseen servant working away to keep it cool, there was time for other things. Eventually, the same faithful power worked the mechanism of the furnace and range. Warmth flowed through the home without lifting a finger.



North Country