Does he help round the house? 1949

Does He Help Round the House? (1949)

help-around-house-smallEvery so often a Companion Poll elicits comments from our Reader-Reporters which lead us to suspect that the average American woman thinks her husband is pretty wonderful—corny jokes to the contrary. This month the suspicion grows. Time and again a woman, while supplying information about how her husband helps out round the house, just can’t resist tossing in a word of praise for him. And considering the facts which the poll uncovers, the men (bless ’em) certainly deserve their praise!

But let’s get the story from Reader-Reporters themselves. “Long have I wanted to brag about my Jim,” a Virginia wife writes enthusiastically. “I’ve held my tongue only out of consideration for others less fortunate. I do not have a hen-pecked husband, but I do have a very knowing and considerate helpmate. If medals were given for the perfect father, my husband would have them all over his chest. He’s really one in a million, as you can see by looking at my answers to the questionnaire.”

Now we’ll have a good look at those answers and find out exactly what our Virginian does to inspire such whole-hearted appreciation. And then we’ll find out whether, in view of other Reader-Reporters’ replies, he actually is one in a million!

We asked each woman to tell us first whether her husband helps with twenty common household tasks, ranging from dish-washing to changing the baby—if there is a baby. Then we asked her to indicate about how often he helps—almost always, frequently, occasionally or rarely.

And what is the score for the gentleman from Virginia? He’s a good one all right. He has at some time helped out with everything. He almost always washes the windows and hangs out the laundry. “We have an up-stairs apartment,” says his wife, “with no automatic washer and no place to hang the wash, so he takes the clothes over to my sister-in-law’s on his lunch hour and hangs them up for me. The four of us make a lot of washing but he never complains about using his spare time to hang it up.”

Frequently our man helps with shopping for groceries, washing and wiping dishes, washing the clothes, dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing walls and floors and everything in connection with the care of his two children. Occasionally he helps out with the cooking and setting the table.

But now for the most important question: Is a man who helps this much around the house really one in a million? The answer is no.

There are lots of Reader-Reporters whose husbands help out just as much. There are even some who help out more! (We’ll deal further with one of these paragons later.) All in all, good as our Virginia friend is, he’s only slightly above average compared with the husbands or fathers of all our other Reader-Reporters.

Our poll shows that nearly all men – ninety-five percent – help out in some way in connection with meals. Almost all (ninety-two percent) of those with children under twelve help take care of them. Nearly three quarters help out with the household cleaning. And well over half — fifty-nine percent — lend a hand with caring for clothes and linens.

What task would you guess men help with oftenest? It’s not washing the dishes, as the cartoonists seem to think. It’s food shopping.

Perhaps you’re one of the people who think that to send a man out for groceries is to kiss good-by to your food budget. Certainly the comments of a few Reader-Reporters give weight to this legend.

Says one, whose husband helps shop occasionally: “His buying is quite bizarre. 1 ask him to pick up some staple items for me and he comes in with a package loaded mostly with what I consider luxuries—”

But on the whole Reader-Reporters’ experience along this line has been different. Most of the women seem to agree with one who says bluntly, “He not only likes to shop but he’s better at it than I am.”

Other jobs that frequently claim the attention of men are dishwashing — they dry oftener than they wash, though dishwashing is also near the top of the list; washing windows; cooking; washing walls and floors; and for the men with small children all the common tasks connected with their care—amusing the youngsters, acting as baby sitters, dressing them, feeding, bathing and of course changing them.

Are you a woman who doesn’t believe there’s any such animal as a male ironer in domestic captivity? Several Reader-Reporters are. An Ohio wife exclaims: “Your asking if they help with the ironing or bed-making slays me. No man ever did those things! If you locate one I’d certainly like to see him. Gosh!”

We located a lot more than one. Though the men in general help less with ironing than with any other common household duty, one out of every seven takes a turn at it at least occasionally. In fact, another Reader-Reporter from Ohio says, “When I was first married, my husband taught me how to iron!”

As for making beds, every third man helps with that, our Reader-Re-porters tell us. Some are evidently very good at it. One woman says: “My husband went to Annapolis and he doesn’t think my bed-making is up to their standards.” But the military life doesn’t necessarily have such salutary effects on husbands. There’s a Kentucky wife who comments on her husband’s bed-making efforts:

“He loves to show me how they did it in the Marines, but I think he’s forgotten something, because the sheets pull out when he makes our beds.”

Actually the men make beds more frequently than they dust or polish furniture. However, all three of these jobs, as well as ironing and washing and hanging out clothes are engaged in by less than half of them.

But let’s get back to the paragons — the men who will help out with every task. Is there actually one among them who stands out above all of his fellows because of his helpfulness? There is indeed. Though we have no way of proving that he’s one in a million, we can say authoritatively that he’s one in two thousand.

This prince among husbands lives in Ohio and he’s the only man in the en-tire group who is reported to help with all twenty of our household tasks almost always!

“My family call him Saint —,” says his wife proudly, “and everyone remarks that they’ve never known a man who helped as much around the house as he does. Besides that, he’s an engineer and can make, fix and re-pair anything and everything!”

There are reasons, however, why this particular husband needs to help more than other men might need to — in fact five good reasons. As his wife says: “He maintains that when a woman has five children in five and one-half years, as I did, her husband certainly ought to do at least half the rest of the work!”

Nevertheless he’s certainly not obligated to serve his wife breakfast in bed every morning. As a matter of fact he doesn’t — just coffee.

It’s only fair to say that, helpful as the average husband is, there are some obvious slackers. We have the man whose sole contribution is “making iced tea all summer long.” And the one who does nothing except take out the refuse every evening and the one whose wife says: “I even buy his shorts and cigarettes. How-ever, he does get his own haircuts.”

But before consigning this small minority to the nether regions it might be well to remember a comment from a Missouri Reader-Re-porter: “Two months ago I would have said he didn’t help with any-thing except washing the windows. But since then I’ve been ill and I’ve discovered that in an emergency he can take over everything—and do a good job too!”


Woman Double Life Ad -

Trushay Beforehand Lotion Vintage Ad (1949)

“For every woman who leads a double life…” it says on the top of this ad from 1949.  That is OVER 60 years ago….yet many of us women could still relate to this.

The text from this ad is below.  It certainly gave me a few chuckles – Enjoy!

For every woman who leads a double life…

Helpmate you! It’s holiday time – and you’ve extra cooking, extra scrubbing, extra dishes to do! Now, more than ever, your hands are in hot, soapy water. But, you don’t want them rough and kitcheny-looking.  For when festive moments come, it’s…

TRUSHAY…the “beforehand” lotion…guards your hands even in hot, soapy water!

Fashionplate you! And you want your hands lovely as your newest gown! Soft and smooth – not dry or chapped.  That’s why Trushay is a must for you. Read how this unique “beforehand” lotion guards hands while you work – keeps them soft as a model’s.

LUXURIOUS, VELVETY TRUSHAY —yes, it’s beauty-designed for you! You and every woman whose hands are in and out—in and out—of hot, soapy water. “Beforehand” Trushay—a new idea in hand care. A lotion so oil-rich you put it on BEFORE doing dishes or light laundry—and it protects your hands right in the hot, soapy water! Actually helps prevent its drying, roughening damage. Softens and smooths—keeping your hands attractive for holiday glamour moments.

Cherish your hands with Trushay —begin its fabulous “beforehand” care today. And remember, Trushay leads a double life, too! It’s marvelous “beforehand”—and it’s a wonderful lotion to use any time. So have a bottle on your dressing table, as well as in your kitchen. Use Trushay as a softener, a body rub, a powder base. Smooth it on before you go out in wintry weather. Creamy Trushay makes your skin much softer—and guards against painful, ugly chapping.

Halloween Party Ideas from the 1920’s


Hallowe’en is a splendid time for giving a party. In ancient times huge bonfires were built on the top of hills to proclaim that mystic and sacred rites were being performed by which to ward off evil spirits that were supposed to be on mischief bent on this day. So why not have an outdoor fete with a picnic supper cooked over the coals? A bonfire with fagots (a bundle of sticks, twigs, or branches bound together and used as fuel, a fascine, a torch, etc.) for each to burn during the telling of a ghost story would be one rite to be performed. If this is not practical, the idea could be carried out around an open fireplace nerves a gas log its an apartment.

Of course, Jack o’Lanterns are the decoration most appropriate, and made of real pumpkins they are a never failing delight. If the real article is too costly, very good substitutes rnay be found at the favor counter. Candles make the best light and are a very attractive feature placed on mantels, bookcases and wherever they will stand. Vegetable candlesticks should be used. Carrot, turnips, potatoes and tiny squash lend themselves for this purpose and make delightful spots of color. The guests may pop corn, or large bowls filled with it ready popped may be placed on tables conveniently placed, with baskets of apples and chestnuts for roasting. For a party consisting of just twelve guests one hostess prepared twelve little sacks of yellow satin tied with black ribbon, since yellow and black have long been the favorite colors for Hallowe’en.

…yellow and black have long been the favorite colors for Hallowe’en.

Inside each bag was a strip of paper bearing an individual charm for each guest. They were told that the bags had been blessed by Titania, queen of the fairies, and her blessing would serve to keep off the witches for a year. I am printing these charmed talismans for you as they may be written and concealed in a mystery cake if you wish to use them that way:

  • “Keep this charm next your heart; it will bring you a friend in need.”
  • “This charm in your right shoe morn, will help your troubles to be borne.”
  • “Kept in your left-hand pocket, this charm will bring surprises.”
  • ‘”Hidden in your favorite book, pleasant memories around will look.”
  • “Gaze on this charm in the morning, it will bring you much adoring.”
  • “Worn in your glove this token, will bring words kindly spoken.”
  • “Toss this charm around you three times, it will ensure good luck.”
  • “This charm held to your eyes, will reveal only sunny skies.”
  • “Seven nights held to your ears, ’twill insure you length of years.”
  • “Placed on the back of your left hand, ’twill summon all the fairy band.”
  • “Bind this charm on the first oak you see, and you will happily wedded be.”
  • “Carry this charm in your purse and it will never be empty.”

That everybody who attends a Hallowe’en party should be en masque goes almost without saying. While the art of applying colors to the face to form subtle lines of light and shade or to disguise the features by bringing out this characteristic or lessening that is known and practiced by some, others prefer quicker and less troublesome methods of keeping their identity a secret. For these the knocked-out tooth and the putty nose offer the easiest way out.

“Knocking out” one or more teeth, as the process is technically known, is very easy indeed. Black court-plaster is cut to a size to cover the tooth to be removed, applied—and the trick is done. Plastic putty may be used to  build out the nose and false lashes may be bought and fastened on to change the look of the eyes.

Crepe paper can be used as the basis for a large number of costumes, such as the rose, carrot, butterfly, Jack Frost, gypsies, colonial girl, patriotic characters and various animals or flowers. The crepe paper can be obtained at slight expense in all colors and can be used with any pattern made for cloth; special patterns for crepe-paper costumes can also be obtained, with full directions and with suggestions for color combinations.


Gourd Jack-O-Lantern Light #halloweencraft

Make a Gourd Jack o’ Lantern for Halloween


Gourd Jack-O-Lantern Light #halloweencraftThis is from the 1950’s…

Traditional jack-o-lanterns made from hollowed pumpkins lack the durability and portability so much desired by Halloween pranksters.  A good substitute that fills all the practical requirements can be made from a large gourd of the necked variety.

The gourd selected should be properly dried and coated with shellac or orange-colored enamel.  Cut eyes, nose and mouth in the appropriate design, then cut off the neck of the gourd at a point just below the bulbous end.

Fit the lens of a large flash-light into the opening, trimming or padding the opening as required to obtain a snug fit. The flashlight is held securely in place with several turns of cellulose tape.

What other crafts could this inspire? A string of gourd ‘heads’ lit with LED bulbs, perhaps?

Children's Halloween Costume Ideas 1920's #halloweencostume #vintagehalloween

Children’s Halloween Costumes from the 1920’s

Here’s some vintage inspiration for your little one’s Halloween Costume:

“Merry Revellers

“Here’s a gay bevy of Carnival Folk – Oranges and Lemons in tarlatan skirts and black gold-laced bodice – the White Rabbit of Alice in Wonderland fame, in a home-made brushed wool or animal plush costume. The Butterfly wears a little pleated under-dress of sulphur yellow tulle with gauzy wings, daubed with orange and brown paint.  True to tradition, the little Red Witch flaunts a bold blak cat on her scarlet head-dress, which matches her sateen frock.  The fluffy Chick is just a mass of muslin frills, with fluffy wool cap.  Dress the Candlestick in bright green with candle head-dress and wool “light”. “

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Merry Revellers Children's Costumes for Halloween

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