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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Cleaning tips for men by Kay Middleton, circa 1943


Kay Middleton was the Winnipeg Tribune's Home Economics Editor from 1935 - 1948 and credited with writing 4,000 "A Page for Winnipeg Homes" columns. Unlike her counterparts in later generations, she had to counsel Manitoba housewives on everything from shopping tips and recipes to household budgeting and cleaning advice during some of the province's darkest years.

The Depression, of course, was all about making a dime go as far as they could and how to keep a sense of normalcy when there was no money for birthday parties or holiday functions. During World War II, society was turned on its head with the huge number of single parent households and thousands of women working outside of the home. Food shortages and rationing added stress to an already stressful period.

Here, Kay takes on one of those oddities of the World War II era: the house husband ! Yes, many men had little choice but to pick up an iron or get on their hands and knees to scrub the kitchen floor. She offers sound advice for clumsy men and tips for housewives on how to tolerate their improper cleaning instincts.

For more on the interesting career of Kay Middleton, who ended up being a U.S. television pioneer, and a collection of her World War II era Christmas columns check out my post from last year Holiday Entertaining with the Winnipeg Tribune's Kay Middleton !

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