Social History | 1940 | Sound | B/W
A Film made by the Electrical Association for Women.
A woman stands surrounded by piles of dirty washing all over her kitchen. The commentary is in her voice and says how she hates washing day. It was alright when it was just hers before she was married but now she has a full household wash to do. She holds her hand to her head in distress and prepares to start. She has a large mangle and washes in a butler sink. The woes of washing day and its drudgery are expressed. Why does it always rain on Mondays ? The scene fades out. She leaves the kitchen hung with all the clothes she has just washed. She complains that they will haunt her till they dry. She sits with a cup of tea and turns on the radio which announces " Woman's Hour ". The women on the radio says she wants to talk about wash day. Our woman reaches to turn off the radio in disgust. The radio woman says wait, it needn't be that awful and she has some household hints and suggestions to help it all easier for the housewife. There then follows a subtle sell of electrical goods, made to sound like useful tips. Our woman closes her eyes, in her seat and dreams of the perfect kitchen and laundry room in an ideal home. A utility room with and electric washing machine, drying cupboard and two irons. First, you sort your clothes into different types of wash. The whites down to the delicates. A detailed description of how to fill the machine from the tap, make sure you plenty of soap powder in stock. Rinsing the wash in the sink and using the same water for a number of washes. Using an electric mangle rather than a hand one. Then hanging every thing in the drying cupboard. Everything and each procedure is described in great detail. Ironing on an ordinary ironing board or a flat plate iron for large things like sheets.
But what about people who don't have the room for a utility room, like women on a housing estate. A exterior shot of a housing estate in Hackney, London. The communal laundry room where there is a rota system. But the commentary says no one would like their dirty laundry in public. But no, each woman has a separate room with a sink and a mangle and large launderette style tumble drying machines. However the rule is no children. Do the best you can and " Be ready for the brave new world as it is ready for you ". Our woman has a hopeful gleam in her eye and looks converted.
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