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Work, early to mid 20th century

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Below are links to groups of pages on particular aspects of work in the early-mid 1900s. Click an image to go to its group.


thumbnail of mangle with link

The weekly wash, early 20th century

The weekly wash was time-consuming and very labour intensive. It started on Mondays and its effects lasted most of the week.

See the link from the image for more about the weekly wash in bygone times.

laundrette thumbnail with link

The wash, mid 20th century

By the 1950s most people could take their washing to a laundrette in the local shopping centre and sit and read, talk or just watch.

See the link from the image for more about the wash, mid 20th century.

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Cleaning without electric equipment

Cleaning was hard work until power cleaning tools arrived in the mid 20th century. It was of course women's work.

See the link from the image for more about cleaning in bygone times.

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Cooking, early - mid 20th century

Cooking left little or no spare time as families were large and there were no fridges, freezers or microwave ovens.

See the link from the image for more about how women used to cook for their families.

thumbnail for keeping away the clothes moth

Keeping the moth out of clothes

As there were no man-made fabrics, wool was the only choice for warm clothes, but the clothes moth loved to eat wool.

See the link from the image for more about the moth in clothes.

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Men's activities

Even working class men were kings of their households because they brought in the wages. So their other activities were largely what they fancied.

See the link from the image for more about how men used to spend their time.

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Sewing and needlecraft

Sewing & needlecraft were essential skills for women because they had to make and mend their families' clothes.

See the link from the image for more about how women used to sew, knit, darn and do general mending.

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Preserving food

Money was always tight, so women were expected to preserve fruit and vegetables when they were in season.

See the link from the image for more about preserving food in bygone times.

For particular types of work like shopping or war work, use the search box.

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