The Roots of Progress

More Work For Mother

The Ironies Of Household Technology From The Open Hearth To The Microwave

Ruth Schwartz Cowan

A history of domestic technology and housework. Lots of good info in here about, e.g., the transition from the open-hearth fireplace to the dedicated cook-stove to the gas/electric range; and on the evolution of the washing machine. Cowan says that while all of this technology improved the labor productivity of housework, and reduced its physical burden, it did not reduce the number of hours women had to devote to housewifery, nor release them from that role.

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