the line before breakfast! Tuesday was ironing day, with the irons heated on the stove(winter and summer). The clothes were cotton, many heavily starched.Fridays were cleaning days -- with broom and scrub brush, on hands and knees, to get thewooden floors sparkling clean. Saturday was baking day -- home-baked bread to last theweek. In between, there were children to care for, gardening to be done and even field workwhen necessary, if the family lived on a farm. There was precious little time forcontemplating or worrying about ``rights.'' Women, then, were just too busy and too tiredat day's end to do much about it. It was a dawn-to-dusk workday. There was no time for acareer outside the home except for perhaps teaching for the unmarried. This was the timewhen the adage of ``Women's place is in the home'' held sway, simply because there wasno choice.It was not unusual for women to bear 10, 12 or more children. The state of hygiene andmedical help being what it was at that time, not all children survived to maturity. Birthcontrol was something that was only whispered about and not available to most women. Awoman, generally, was worn out by the age of 35. It was also not unusual for a man tohave had three or four wives in his lifetime.Voting would not, could not, have helped women, then, any more than it is helping themnow.Technate design. Some basic facts.
THE INTRODUCTION OF CHANGE
By 1920, the use of electricity increased almost tenfold -- to 56,559 million kilowatt-hours.That was the year the 20th amendment was ratified, following several decades of womenfighting for the right just to vote. It was a very dubious victory, in keeping with the historyof political chicanery. The inventor who developed the small electric motor did more forwomen's liberation than all the rhetoric of all the politicians since George Washington's time.The development of the small electric motor paved the way for the mass production of vacuum cleaners, washing machines, beaters, and a myriad of other gadgets that are takenfor granted today. Social change was on the way with a vengeance.At the turn of the century, the family, for the most part, was a self-contained unit. The manworked outside the home; he was the sole bread winner; the woman stayed home takingcare of the home and children, completely dependent upon the husband and father foreconomic sustenance.She, in turn, provided him with free services of a cook, laundress, seamstress, gardener,housekeeper, nurse, teacher and mistress. They were mutually dependent upon each other.It was all hard, unremitting labor, but more or less independent of outside needs.Most everybody was in the same situation. With the development of cheap electricity,homes were soon wired, eliminating many tedious chores for women (and for men, too).Electric stoves began to make their appearance, eliminating wood-chopping. Expandingindustry demanded greater record-keeping. With the invention of the typewriter and othertechnological developments in the home and in industry, women began to flock to officesand factories. In 1950, the total production of electric energy was 388,674 million kilowatt-hours; this increased to 844,188 million kilowatt-hours by the end of the decade. Thefamily, as it was known at the turn of the century, had changed drastically.It no longer was a self-contained unit. Small towns around the periphery of large citiesbecame ``bedroom'' communities. That is, people living in the small towns obtained jobs inthe large cities and commuted back and forth. A home or apartment became, to a large3