TXT [More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave Ruth Schwartz Cowan] ethnic studies


10 thoughts on “More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave

  1. says:

    I enjoyed reading this book but I was constantly wavering on whether I was on board with her arguments or not I completely agree with what I thought was her basic argument generally in American history over the last couple centuries technological achievements have tended to eliminate men's household work but not woman's work For example men used to have to spend a lot of time gathering fuel for fires felling and chopping up trees Then women

  2. says:

    There’s a parable that I heard recently that sums this book up pretty well frog soup You can’t just drop a frog into boiling water but if the water starts out cold and the heat is ever so gradually increased before you

  3. says:

    MCLPretty interesting I think she makes her case that technology hasn't necessarily saved much work for women but I would have liked her to spend a little time exploring the suggestions for alternatives

  4. says:

    I sought out this scholarly work after finding it hidden among the references of another recent work; that book had two women's names

  5. says:

    Throughout the 20th century households were transformed by a new abundance of labor saving devices from washing machines to toaster ovens and processed goods that reduced housewives’ workloads leaving them free to learn trades and professions of their own and fully participate in the modern world But in the second decade of the

  6. says:

    In An Introduction Housework and Its Tools she places household work within the stream of industrialization of America Household were industrialized form 1860 1960 at the same time as the idealized households emerged as retreat from a heartless world Much of the irony of this observation results from the observation that women were users of technologies that embedded them firmly within market relations all along Like the male and female wor

  7. says:

    A Introduction Housework and its tools1 Industrialization of the home took place between 1860 and 19602 Household and market labor are similar in 3 waysa Both depend on non human energy sourcesb The household is part of a larger economic system we depend on others to bake our breadc Households use tools that they don't understand or manufacture3 This book looks at the history of housework and the tools with which it is

  8. says:

    Harder to get through than Never Done by Susan Strasser or Just a Housewife by Glenna Matthews and it covers about the same material

  9. says:

    This book is a little dated written in the early 80s but still has tons of interesting information The premise is that although house

  10. says:

    The argument that women entered the workforce because modern technology freed them housework has been around at least 40 ye

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Free download È E-book, or Kindle E-pub å Ruth Schwartz Cowan

More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave

Ively and provocative prose Cowan explains how the modern conveniences washing machines white flour vacuums commercial cotton seemed at first to offer working class women middle class standards of comfort Over time however it became clea I sought out this scholarly work after finding it hidden among the references of another recent work that book had two women s names among its references In the notes of this book P234 249 I counted 113 names I could be sure were female Index P251 257 I counted 30 names I could be sure were female Looking at the American home from pre industrial days when a household made most of what it reuired and traded for the rest to modern times the author asks what work was assigned to men or women and how each changed She finds that a woman s work was laborious and heavy before piped water and electric or gas supply Thus people often weren t very clean and their homes were poorly lit and crowded As work became available in cities and manufactured goods circulated the concept of a housewife was invented This was a woman whose labour was all or mostly at home cleaning feeding clothing the family Nursing the sick was part of her work also midwifery and laying out the dead The author says that work traditionally assigned to men like gathering firewood hunting meat and driving the cart shrank or vanished and women got to do that work The reason was electric and gas power shops and cars The author never mentions that the men looked after the horses harness and carts a job in itself Women had appliances invented for them but the early ones were not much improvement like washing machines which still reuired sopping and mangling then ironing Families needed to earn to pay for stoves which needed cleaning and blacking refrigerators sewing machines washing machines cars electric cookers better washing machines electric irons vacuums and Some women worked in every time period so we get to see the richer and poorer homes and jobs and we note that a woman always had staff if she was wealthy or a woman for a day a week if she was poor to do the heavy work usually washing and cleaning The cost of labour rose as immigrant women reduced in number and the Depression made hiring people impossible for the poor Thus machinery was all the necessary if children were to get to school clean and fed and a man to his work I noted no mention of people with disabilities what happened if someone had polio lost an arm or went blind Were they not mentioned in the literatureI also saw little mention of the children being made to do work except in the chapter where we are told that girls learned from their mothers and boys from their fathers what tasks to do and how The later chapters show children at school or at play when older kids were pressed into service to mind younger ones and help with cooking and cleaning or piecework for an outside employer in reality Certainly in my home I regretted being taught how to make a pot of tea and answer the door as it seemed I was always called upon This despite the fact that by five I had read several books in which the boys got to go out and have adventures but the girls had to stay home and help around the house so I had decided that I was going to be like a boy I really enjoyed reading about the households of America in all their variations The photos and drawings of the day are particularly good The author seems to have found no shortage of sources from accounts of daily lives to theses on plumbing or gas refrigeratorsI borrowed this book from the Dublin Business School library This is an unbiased review Degrees of Elevation provocative Demons, Yes--But Thank God for Good Angels prose Cowan explains how the modern conveniences washing machines white flour vacuums commercial cotton seemed at first to offer working class women middle class standards of comfort Over time however it became clea I sought out this scholarly work after finding it hidden among the references of another recent work that book had two women s names among its references In the notes of this book P234 249 I counted 113 names I could be sure were female Index P251 257 I counted 30 names I could be sure were female Looking at the American home from The Pride and Prejudice Movie Cookbook pre industrial days when a household made most of what it reuired and traded for the rest to modern times the author asks what work was assigned to men or women and how each changed She finds that a woman s work was laborious and heavy before Vietnam Perkasie piped water and electric or gas supply Thus Losing Strength and Dexterity poorly lit and crowded As work became available in cities and manufactured goods circulated the concept of a housewife was invented This was a woman whose labour was all or mostly at home cleaning feeding clothing the family Nursing the sick was Afghanistan part of her work also midwifery and laying out the dead The author says that work traditionally assigned to men like gathering firewood hunting meat and driving the cart shrank or vanished and women got to do that work The reason was electric and gas The Black Sheeps Secret Child power shops and cars The author never mentions that the men looked after the horses harness and carts a job in itself Women had appliances invented for them but the early ones were not much improvement like washing machines which still reuired sopping and mangling then ironing Families needed to earn to The Billionaires Desire pay for stoves which needed cleaning and blacking refrigerators sewing machines washing machines cars electric cookers better washing machines electric irons vacuums and Some women worked in every time After the Flood period so we get to see the richer and Trust in Tomorrow poorer homes and jobs and we note that a woman always had staff if she was wealthy or a woman for a day a week if she was Manga: Pure Soldier OTOMAIDEN 4 (English Edition): Strategy of Demonic Vassal Part 1 poor to do the heavy work usually washing and cleaning The cost of labour rose as immigrant women reduced in number and the Depression made hiring After the Flood people impossible for the Bronxwood poor Thus machinery was all the necessary if children were to get to school clean and fed and a man to his work I noted no mention of NAKED ANIME GIRLS 3 people with disabilities what happened if someone had Acquiring the Mind of Christ polio lost an arm or went blind Were they not mentioned in the literatureI also saw little mention of the children being made to do work except in the chapter where we are told that girls learned from their mothers and boys from their fathers what tasks to do and how The later chapters show children at school or at The Internal Magic of Activision Dragster play when older kids were The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, pressed into service to mind younger ones and help with cooking and cleaning or Dinner with a Perfect Stranger piecework for an outside employer in reality Certainly in my home I regretted being taught how to make a The Purple Headed Mountain pot of tea and answer the door as it seemed I was always called upon This despite the fact that by five I had read several books in which the boys got to go out and have adventures but the girls had to stay home and help around the house so I had decided that I was going to be like a boy I really enjoyed reading about the households of America in all their variations The Stone Circles of Britain photos and drawings of the day are Blue leader particularly good The author seems to have found no shortage of sources from accounts of daily lives to theses on The Queen Con (The Golden Arrow plumbing or gas refrigeratorsI borrowed this book from the Dublin Business School library This is an unbiased review

Read More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave

R that these gadgets and gizmos mainly replaced work previously conducted by men children and servants Instead of living lives of leisure middle class women found themselves struggling to keep up with ever higher standards of cleanliness This book is a little dated written in the early 80s but still has tons of interesting information The premise is that although household technology keeps improving women still spend the same amount of time doing housework why is that Since this book predates there is no way for her to know that things have come full circle I hadn t realized that housewives of old had practically everything they needed delivered to them With the development of the automobile so too did mother s job change to driving around to stores and running errands all day With that lens the rise of home delivery again is a wonderful thing especially for new mothers with babies and toddlers at homeIt was also fascinating to read about the different lives led by the comfortable and the rest of us over the last 100 or so years For example she points out how tenements had no kitchen storage and just one table that served all needs homework piecework meal preparation and eating so that good manners of place settings and such were really only for the well to doIt s great stuff and essential reading for any mother struggling with why there are still so few hours in a day

Free download È E-book, or Kindle E-pub å Ruth Schwartz Cowan

In this classic work of women's history winner of the 1984 Dexter Prize from the Society for the History of Technology Ruth Schwartz Cowan shows how and why modern women devote as much time to housework as did their colonial sisters In l There s a parable that I heard recently that sums this book up pretty well frog soup You can t just drop a frog into boiling water but if the water starts out cold and the heat is ever so gradually increased before you or the frog knows it there is no frog and no water but instead a pot of soup More Work for Mother can be broken down into a number of constituent parts each a synecdoche on its own but my favorite bit of soup is the vacuum cleanerSuch is the tale before cleaning the rugs reuired someone physically strong typically the husband to lift and carry heavy rugs Then someone with much energy and spare time typically the children beat the rugs The remaining task sweeping the area where the rug once lay was left to the wife En totale the work of cleaning a rug was very intense and rarely done spring cleaning was once a year the spring duh for a reason But now oh now in this wonderful atomic future the rugs they must be clean because it is ever so simple to flip the switch and push the electronic sweeper around a bit Guess who gets to run the vacuum while the rest of the household is excused from the lifting and the beating Well yes it is mother And what chores supplanted lifting the rugs or beating the rugs while mother vacuums Nothing of course the home is a place of leisure For men And children The frog gets a bit hotterThere are many examples each interesting in their own way White flour was surprisingly and particularly interesting from a historical standpoint the steam engine unshackled mills from rivers and shifted industrial concentration to centralized factories allowing the growth of urbanization White flour is composed of very small particles of the endosperm of the grain and lacks the germ and the bran It didn t spoil as uickly as the whole grains ground at the local grist it fact it keep long enough to be shipped overseas to feed the foreign armies of the Napoleonic Wars Once those wars were over the industrial mills created and optimized to grind ultrafine white flour flooded US markets with cheap white flour which used to be the province of socio economic posturing between the wealthy cakes and fluffy breads became de rigueurThat s pretty great right Cheap flour No need for the laborious work of hauling grains to the gristmill a task typically relegated to the physically stronger male of the household No need for hand grinding grain a tedious task usually left for children Everyone has time thanks to white flour Oh butwell everyone but mother The course flours that were produced by hand grinding or grist milling of wheat and rye were prepared into uickbreads porridges and griddle cakes none of which reuired complex or laborious preparations Yeast breads when prepared by the standard techniue of the time reuired hard labor in the kneading and considerable attention to details particularly in maintaining yeast cultures And what chores supplanted reaping and hauling the grain or hand grinding while mother kneads or whisks You guessed it nothing of course the home is a place of leisure For men and children remember The frog becomes the soupOh but don t worry mother technology will save you The eggbeater which was invented and marketed during the middle decades of the 19th century may have eased the burden of this work somewhat but unfortunately the popularity of the beater was accompanied by the popularity of angel food cakes in which eggs are the only leavening and yolks and whites are beaten separately thus doubling the work Angel food cake has fallen out of favor probably because it takes the same effort of buy an Entenmann s pound cake as it does to buy angel food cake which is to say none What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly it is dearness only that gives every thing its value Thomas Paine but for dessertsMore Work for Mother remains timeless and is a comprehensive text that should be reuired reading by every technological futurist who believes progress makes life better by default It explains the ever expanding desires of society better than anything I ve ever read easy to wash clothes because of washing machines Clothes should be cleaner Easy to bathe because of running water water heaters bathtubs Personal hygiene must be improved Easy to contact people because of telephones Everyone must be available twenty four hours a day Ad astra infinitum forever and ever Enjoy your soup

  • Paperback
  • 288
  • More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave
  • Ruth Schwartz Cowan
  • English
  • 03 March 2019
  • 9780465047321

About the Author: Ruth Schwartz Cowan

Ruth Schwartz Cowan is an historian of science technology and medicine with degrees from Barnard College BA the University of California at Berkeley MA and The Johns Hopkins University PhD She was a member of the History Department of the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1967 to 2002 attaining the rank of Professor in 1984 Between 1997 and 2002 she was the Chair of the