Time Required to Complete Housework Tasks a Hundred Years Ago

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today

Tuesday, November 5, 1912:  I must excuse myself for this day.

Data Source: “Time Required to Complete Certain Tasks” in the October, 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal. (Click on graph to enlarge.)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll tell you how long it took to complete several household tasks in 1912.

Factory managers in the 1910s believed that workers should be timed doing various tasks to determine how long it took to complete each one.

There also was a movement toward the scientific management of households. Homemakers were encouraged to time how long it took to complete common tasks so that they could better plan their daily schedule.

10 Responses

  1. Makes me think of the book Cheaper by the Dozen. The father was an efficiency expert.

  2. Hi. I like the idea of ‘brushing up’ a room. Lots of cooking and baking going on! Jane

  3. And probably all done without any conveniances we have today. We should have a bunch of spare time to enjoy…what happened?

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