4d a week

Reading for Women in 1939

This week Sepia Saturday has invited us to start with an old advertisement.  And so I chose this one from a coverless copy of the  Australian magazine Woman  of  5th June, 1939 .  Who could have imagined instant hot water in the kitchen sink.  No more carrying kettles of boiling water over to the sink from the stove.  Marvellous.

sink HWS 1939The magazine has an advertisement on nearly every page with a strong emphasis on cures for colds, tinned food, bile beans, pick-me-up Worcestershire sauce, sewing machines – all things to tempt the housewife.

But I was in for a surprise.  Do you remember this famous opening line ?

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again

This was from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier  and here it is being serialized in a 1939 magazine.  In this issue they are up to Chapter 6, soon after Mrs van Hopper has been told of the engagement.

Rebecca serial 1939So, the book was published  in 1938, serialized in 1939 and made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940 starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.  Big Sigh.  Then remade in 1997 starring Charles Dance and  Emilia Fox.  Little Sigh.   I was interested to see it referred to as a gothic romance in the early days but then became a psychological drama once filmed.

And the reason for my mother having saved this particular magazine was that pages 2 and 3 were given over to And Listen to the Band, photos and text about women’s brass bands in Australia, including her sister Hilda Tansey and the Sydney Ladies Brass Band.

pp 2 3 Woman Listen to the Band 1939And the tempting little offer of Free Best Quality Aluminium  ware was available if you saved the labels of Inglis products such as their tea, coffee, porridge, etc, a forerunner of our present day Reward points.

Sepia Saturday gave us this advertisement for nice soft cushions to place on the horse’s hooves.  Other Sepians will have all other kind of interesting ads.

2014.12W.38

21 thoughts on “Reading for Women in 1939

  1. jamestaylorgimme

    Reminds me of running around the side of the house to put some more change (money) in the gas meter. I think the meter accepted pennies and shillings. Those heaters illustrated held about a good sinkfull of hot water. We had a chip heater in the bathroom in which we had to light a fire. Made Sunday bath nights an interesting time!

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      1. jamestaylorgimme

        Oh, yes, remember them, too! Finally got rid of the old wood-chip heater and folks had one installed. I used to love it when Dad lit it up but my sisters and Mum would make sure they were anywhere else but the bathroom. That must have been about the time my aunt bought a gas fridge – or was it a kerosene one? – anyhow, the idea that you heat something up to cool it down fascinated me. Sorry, off-topic!

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  2. Lorraine (Boobook)

    My mother didn’t have to worry about finding coins for the instant hot water service because her water was heated by pipes through her wood stove. It was an efficient system but the biggest disadvantage was that the fire had to be kept alight all day no matter how hot the weather.

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  3. Little Nell

    What a treasure these are. The hot water service one reminds us of how much we take for granted these days. BTW your SS link isn’t working.

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  4. Alan Burnett

    Old newspapers and magazines are much better used for wrapping up history than for wrapping up fish and chips. Over time things like the adverts become just as fascinating as the editorial content.

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  5. jofeath

    They have one of those instant hot water heaters at the GSV. They would certainly have saved a lot of burns accidents that resulted from those pans of boiling water being carried from one place to another.

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  6. Sharon

    A well presented post.

    I remember my grandmothers copper in the old laundry out the back! She did not trust electricity and was slow to get connected…………a bit like my mother and computers!

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    Reply
    1. jamestaylorgimme

      Sharon, when I was a youngster most families we knew relied on the copper for many uses, not just doing the weekly wash. There was bath night, which meant carrying buckets of hot water from the laundry – or “wash-house” as we called it – all the way through the house to the bathroom. No wonder we only bathed once a week! And Xmas puddings. These would be boiled in their cloths in the copper, hung up to drip-dry over the wash troughs, and then hung on a pole in the pantry until Xmas. A good housewife in those days would have her “plums” done sometime through the winter. Regularly, there would be a taking down and opening the top of the cloth to pour some cooking sherry, or brandy if the household was affluent, over the pudding then back up until the big day. This addition to the pudding took on an almost solemn ritual enjoyed by what family were present.

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      1. jamestaylorgimme

        My Nan who lived in North Melbourne at the time had this outhouse on the back fence in a corner. It was contained a loo, copper which required you light a fire under it, and there was this big old bath. There was a laneway the other side of the fence, she told me the “nightman” used to use it when he changed pans, ugh! Sometimes, while on the loo, you would hear people walking along the lane, talking. Once, I was there and I coughed. A voice from the other side of the end wall suddenly said, “How’s it going, Jack (my grandpop’s name), still got that cold?” I hadn’t realised that the neighbour’s also had the same arrangement with their outdoor facilities which was butted up to Gran’s.

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  7. La Nightingail

    I’d never heard of the hot water service tanks either. And now we have hot water circulators you connect to your hot water heater that put hot water instantly at your fingertips without having to let the water run! A good thing for Californians right now!!!

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  8. Mike Brubaker

    A fun selection. I wish more of these old magazines were digitized for the internet. Of course I especially like the Sydney Ladies Brass Band. I have not encountered many photos of such bands from down under and will have to add them to the hunt.

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  9. Nancy

    How fun to have a peek into your magazine, Women. I think I remember magazines having serials in them though I don’t ever remember reading any. I think I was too young to be interested and by the time I was old enough to be interested, they weren’t doing serials anymore.

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  10. Barbara

    The picture of the water heater took me right back to my childhood home. I can hear mum saying, “Light the Ascot” I assume it must have been made by Ascot? I’ve no idea now, but that’s what it was always called. How funny, I’ve not thought about that for years. Mum died more than 20 years ago so it’s odd to hear her voice inside my head!

    I’ve got a copy of Rebecca on my bookshelf it’s one of my all-time favourite books. That opening line gets me every time!

    Thanks for another trip down memory lane. Barbara

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  11. Miss Donna

    What an awesome find! In the 50’s Midwest, I remember having a salamander in our “front room.” It was a black cast iron pot bellied stove with a chimney that went up through the roof (I guess). Where else would it go? I think it was coal that my Dad and brothers used to keep the fire going. I remember we had a “coal man,” an “ice man,” and, of course, a “milk man.” Those were the days.

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