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How to be the perfect housewife.. 1940s style; Finding your New Year's resolutions hard to keep? Transport yourself back to 1949 when a housewife's daily chore list read like an on-going 'must-do-better' regime. Lifestyle Editor ZOE CHAMBERLAIN takes a look back in time.

Byline: ZOE CHAMBERLAIN

IF, like me, you're struggling to stick to your New Year's resolutions, spare a thought for the 1940s housewife.

She didn't just stick her pots and pans in the dishwasher and get on with her day.

Cleaning was a careful, laborious process, particularly as families couldn't afford to replace items that became worn or damaged.

Instead of chucking broken scissors, knives and pans women learnt how to keep them in 'good trim' and fix them if they fell apart.

A revised version of 101 Things For The Housewife to Do 1949 has been published, revisiting a Britain which was still in the grips of rationing from World War II.

And as well as offering handy household tips authors Lillie B. and Arthur C.

Horth inform ladies how to make use of their spare time.

They say: "Although household duties usually take up a considerable portion of the day, every housewife should endeavour to find time for practising some useful or decorative art.

"Included in the more popular crafts are weaving, leatherwork, basketry, rug making, pewter modelling, fabric painting, soft-toy making, lacquer work, decorative dyeing, jewellery, lace making and wood carving."

The advice is a world away from the worries we face today, like children's poor nutrition or overzealous TV-watching.

And there's much to be gleaned from these household tips, which should have been passed down through generations but somehow got lost along the way.

CAPTION(S):

SPICK AND S-PAN: the 1940s housewife always kept her cooking pans sparkling clean and (below) keeping the children amused with Plasticine modelling
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 13, 2008
Words:261
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