From Mangle to Microwave : Mechanization of the Household
Without the mechanization of the household, most women would still be bent over the kitchen sink, and yet we know extraordinarily little about the origins of the machines, which, in practical terms, have made liberation possible. This book gives an illustrated account of the inventions and misinventions that have helped or hindered workers in the home from the time of the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace in 1851 to the gadget-ridden households of today. Washing machines and irons, vacuum cleaners and other cleaning devices, sewing machines, domestic appliances and bathroom technology are all described in detail and illustrated from contemporary sources. In summing up the present-day domestic situation, Christina Hardyment resurrects some of the alternative theories of household management offered by such progressive thinkers as Mrs Havelock Ellis, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman and suggests that we may have missed many of the opportunities that the domestic revolution has offered us. The work should appeal to general readers, especially feminist readers, students of social history and women's studies.
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- Hardback | 250 pages
- 175.26 x 251.46 x 25.4mm | 589.67g
- 25 Feb 1988
- Polity Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Homes without machines; of pig-iron and parlourmaids; the mechanical tailor; laundry work; house cleaning; the bathroom; from roasting spit to trained lightning; machines in the kitchen; kitchen gadgetry; the domestic mystique