Thursday 30 November 2023

Working Life in the 1890's

Here we are at another Thursday with some more about working in the late 1800's.


Before the widespread connection of plumbing to rooms other than the kitchen or scullery and before bathroom water heater. Water for the family baths was usually heated in the kitchen and carried by a housemaid to the bathroom. I wonder how often one of these poor servants scolded themselves with the hot water.


Then there is the cooking another time consuming task for the cook and helpers, she would be expected to prepare and cook three meals a day as well as dishes for morning and afternoon tea. The food of course would have to meet the mistress's wishes. Things like peeling the veggies would not have been as easy with no spud peeler, they were not invented till 1947.



I suspect it took a hell of a lot longer to make pastry which would be needed for the pies and tarts that the cook was expected to make each week. Sweet delicacies would be expected to be on hand at any time.

Then after cooking and meals are done there is the washing up which involved heating and carrying bloody hot water again. Then of course there was the polishing of silver which didn't just mean the cutlery but also the many other silver articles displayed by the wealthy households. Such things like teapots, vases and other decorative table centrepieces.

Then we have the dusting which was expect to be done pretty much every day as the household was suppose to be dust free and polished at all times. 

14 comments:

  1. This sounds pretty much what my Grandmother did well into the early 1970s on a farm in Queensland . She had no house maid but did have running water ( such as it was running with constant drought).
    I have some photos of relatives when they were babies all dollied up in started lawn and lace being held by a house maid for a baby photo. I am not sure what this was about . Maybe signaling a social superiority that they were well off enough to have a maid ??

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    1. My family never had maids or servants of any kind, they may have been poor but they were happy

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  2. Replies
    1. That they did, it would give the youth of today a shock to work that hard

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  3. Those were the days Jo-Anne, most of us don't know what it was like back then.

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  4. Was a lot of hard work, for sure! We have it pretty easy these days by comparison.

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  5. Reading this certainly makes me even more grateful for modern conveniences, Jo-Anne. Blessings!

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  6. I cannot imagine what it took to not only cook and bathe, but the overall living back then was so much harder. Sometimes I wish I would have lived back then, other times I am thankful I did not.

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    1. My Mum use to say those who say they want to live like they did back then have never tried it and have no idea how hard life was

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  7. Makes you wonder what 'conveniences' they were grateful for that we can't see from our future perspective...

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