Caring for the Home

Until after World War l, housework cooking and cleaning took up much of a housewife’s time and energy unless she had the financial resources to have a hired girl or servants. The work was exhausting and time-consuming. Bessie would have more time for her family and the business after 1920 with convenient, electric appliances and prepared food.

Kitchen: When Bessie arrived in America, housewives would wait for the ice man to deliver huge chunks of ice to put in their ice boxes to keep food cold.

Laundry and Cleaning:Although patented in 1910, the Thor, the first electric-powered drum-like washing machine or other similar washing machines, wouldn’t be found in most laundry rooms until the 1920s. Even with an electric washing machine, most women would still be turning the wringer by hand until the 1940s.

For more about inventions in the 1920s: American-Historama