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!”


Party Planning Tips from the 1950’s

How do you have a successful party?

Everyone really knows the answer, but most people just don’t think of it in time. The answer is planning.

Plan every detail, so that no time is left to hang heavy, to become one of those periods of awkward silence which make guests uncomfortable.

Don’t impose your plan on the party, let it go along at its natural speed as long as it has steam. But when it appears to be slowing down, let your plans carry it along.

Planning begins with the timing.

Select a date and time when your guests will be free, relaxed, unworried about the next day’s affairs.

The following are the conventional hours for various parties:

  • Brunch: 10-11 A.M.
  • Lunch: 12-3 P.M.
  • Tea: 3-5 P.M.
  • Cocktails: 4-7 P.M.
  • Dinner: 7-9 P.M.
  • Formal Dinner: 8-10
  • Dessert Meals: 9-10
  • Supper: 8-12 P.M.
  • Open House: 1-11 P.M.
  • Barbecue Party 12-9

The concept of planning applies to every aspect of a party from drinks, menu and snacks to guest list, household help and seating arrangements. Consider all the elements of your affair carefully, decide what would be best suited to your budget, your time, the sort of guests you’ve invited, and, of course, the occasion itself.

The most basic part of a plan is your party theme. A truly successful party must have a unifying idea behind it, an idea which binds together the decor, the refreshments and the activities, which lends meaning to the entire affair. This is not to say that the theme must constantly intrude itself on everyone’s attention. But it should be there in some form, subtly.

Within this web site you’ll find plans for a number of parties, varying from an ordinary birthday to holiday and costume parties. These are just a few of the literally hundreds of kinds of social affairs you can arrange.

The only limitation imposed on your party is the scope of your own imagination. So let it run free. Don’t be afraid to be original and different. Decide exactly what you want to do and how best to do it-then gather your guests together in a spirit of sociability and fun and watch the pleasure spread from one to the other. They’ll all love it, and so will you!

1930’s Hydroponics

Click on images to view full pages. Scroll down for text. 

Much has been told of the marvelous results obtained by tank farming, but little about exactly how it is done. This article is intended to remove the mystery and show amateur gardeners the latest methods used in this new science of plant culture, often known as soilless farming, hydroponics, or water culture.

Groups are springing up everywhere in California to try their luck at this fascinating type of gardening. This interest is largely due to the efforts of Prof. William F. Gericke of the University of California.

In tank farming the solution is held in a tank, and the vegetable or flower plants are grown in trays resting on top. Elements required by the plants are added to the water in the form of soluble salts.

For best growth, the solution must be kept at a uniform temperature and also circulated, unless some method of air blowing is devised for aeration. The tank illustrated has provision for both heating and circulating the solution automatically.

Tweet about this article… 

Fasten the sides, ends, bottom, and three bottom ties with screws in preference to nails. See list of materials for sizes. Use casein glue on all the joints. Put in the center baffle, but notch out a piece 11/2” by 6″ on the bottom at the sump end. Add the sump wall pieces, corner pieces, center braces, and sump tiller pieces. Drill 1″ holes for the 3/4” pipes and the return hole to the sump, and a 1 5/8” hole for the sink drain.

Install all pipes and fittings. Take care that the 3/4” by 11″ nipple is mounted so that the 3/4” slot, which should be cut in it as shown, is 1/2” below the water line. The water line is 2” below the top of the tank and runs through the middle of the return hole. Add the bottom battens and apply the water-proofing.

A wire helix is fastened to the long motor-driven mixing rod as shown (the regular mixing disk being discarded) and the motor itself mounted by the method indicated. Note that the helix must be wound in a direction opposite to the rotation of the motor. The tank then holds 50 gal. Adjust the float to cut off the water at this point. A galvanized cover can be made for the float section, and wooden covers 3/4″ thick to accommodate the thermostat on one side and the 3/4″ pipe and heater on the other side. The heater should be mounted as close to the 3/4” pipe as possible.

For more modern info on Hydroponic Gardening, check out this best selling book on Amazon! (click the image).

For more modern info on Hydroponic Gardening, check out this best selling book on Amazon! (click the image).

Fill the tank with water again to within 1/4” of the top and connect up the electrical apparatus. One side of the line goes directly to the motor and heater, and the other passes through the thermostat before it reaches the other two.

The trays may now be set on the tank and pieces of galvanized iron screwed in place to prevent them from slipping. Excelsior is placed on the wire tray bottoms, and a number of wicks are formed by poking bunches of excelsior about 3” down into the water. Put in about 2 1/2″ of excelsior and fill to the top of the trays with rice hulls, chaff, or pine or oak shavings (avoid redwood shavings).

If enough excelsior wicks have been made, the tank will be ready for planting in an hour. Wash all dirt from the roots of the plantlets and set them in holes made in the moist top tiller and excelsior right down to the wire.
Plants can be very close together. Seeds may also be started directly in the trays, but the average experimenter doesn’t want to wait that long for results.

The current is now turned on. It will take about six hours to raise the temperature of the water from 60 to 85 deg. F. Keep an accurate thermometer in the water until this temperature has been reached; then turn the adjusting knob on the thermostat to cut off the current.

Chemicals do not need to be added for a few days after transplanting, or until the roots begin to grow into the water. I suggest tomatoes for the first experiments. The following solution, from the Ohio Experimental Station, is especially recommended for tomatoes: Potassium nitrate, 3 oz.; calcium nitrate, 3 oz.; magnesium sulphate, 1 1/4 oz.; mono calcium phosphate, 3/8 oz.; ammonium sulphate, 3 1/2% oz. Dissolve each in about 1/2 gal. of water separately and pour them into the tank in the order given.

In addition, 2 12 oz. boric acid must be dissolved in 1/2 gal. of water, and 1 fluid oz. placed in the tank once each week. Also dissolve 8 3/4 oz. ferrous sulphate in 1 gal. of water and add to it 1/2 fluid oz. of sulphuric acid solution (1 oz. concentrated acid in 31 1/2 oz. water). Put 1 fluid oz. of the iron solution into the tank once a day.

The degree of acidity or alkalinity (the pH) is most important. For tomatoes pH 5.5. has been found satisfactory. A test set can be  obtained that consists of papers impregnated with a dye and an accompanying color chart, each color bearing a pH number ranging from pH 4 to pH 10. One of the strips is dipped into the tank and the resulting color reaction compared with the chart. As the solutions tend to become alkaline, it is necessary occasionally to add a small amount of the dilute sulphuric acid. If the solution should go over too far on the acid side, use a small amount of potassium or sodium hydroxide solution (a pellet dissolved in a quart of water). When one becomes familiar with the routine, the correct pH is easily maintained.

This solution, although recommended for tomatoes, will also work satisfactory with cucumbers, squash, and most flowers.

The circulator, when operating, forces the solution down the 3/4″ pipe from the sump up into the bottom of the tank, where it moves gradually around the center baiiie and returns through the hole in the sump. There it picks up additional heat before going through the same cycle again. When the temperature of the water reaches the established high point, the thermostat cuts OE both the circulator and the heater.

Source: Popular Science, April 1939 – click HERE to purchase a copy from Amazon.

Now over to you….

Have you given hydroponics a shot?  How has it worked for you?  Care to share any tips with the rest of us?

Post below in the comments 🙂

Please note: Posts may contain affiliate links for products we have used or researched. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same and Vintage Info Network will automatically receive a small referral fee. Your support helps to fund this website. Thank you.

How to Tighten a Loose Hammer Head

As a result of drying, hammer heads often become loose in the wooden handle of the hammer. One method that has proven successful in tightening the head on a handle is to soak the hammer head and handle in a container of linseed oil.

The container may be a Read more

How To Pat Concrete Floors

Keep in mind that these directions were written in the 1940’s.  As with everything on this site – follow current safety standards when doing any project.

If you are one of the many men who have had disappointing results in painting cement floors in a basement workshop, recreation room, sun porch or elsewhere, you may be skeptical about the durability of floor, porch and deck enamel on concrete surfaces. Actually, any first-class enamel
made for this purpose will give satisfactory results if correctly used and, still more important, if the cement is properly prepared for painting.

Dampness is always Read more

Corned Beef Loaf Recipe

This is an old Jell-O recipe from the 1930’s.


1 package Lemon Jell-O

1 cup boiling water

1 cup meat stock, or 1 cup water plus 4 bouillon cubes or 4 teaspoons beef extract

Read more

Consumer’s Victory Pledge (1942)

The following is from Make and Mend for Victory which was published in 1942 during World War II.  During this time consumers were encouraged to conserve resources – including household goods and clothing.

Consumer’s Victory Pledge:

“As a consumer, in the total defense of democracy, I will do my part to make my home, my community, my country ready efficient strong.

I will buy carefully – I will not buy anything above the ceiling price, no matter how much I may want it.

I will take good care of the things I have – and I will not
buy anything made from vital war materials which I can get along without.

Read more

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...