Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Wife of the 1920s

In the prior post, I featured the divorce records for Howard Lutter and Laura Ethel Winterton, 1926.  Laura was cited for not cleaning, cooking, caring for the children, and for working outside the home.

Today, we may find such expectations quaint, but this was the world in which Howard and Laura lived.

I found some modern-day sentiments that could have expressed Laura's disdain over her situation.  Underneath are quotes from the divorce record.

"A man expects his supper on the table after working all day."

Howard:  "She wasn't going to waste her life taking care of kids."

"She was a woman that didn't take care of her home."

"I don't like housework.  I don't care for it.  I don't want to do it."

"I am doing my half.  I am working."
"I am doing my duty supporting you and my children and you have to do your part."

"Mrs. So and So doesn't have to do it.  They have a maid.  I don't see why I have to do it."

"She had a nice position . . . and didn't want to come back."

"I scrubbed floors, I gave the kids baths.  At night went to the store, washed dishes."

Wife:  "I was born to be a lady and I don't like housework."
Husband:  "You were not born to be a lady."


  1. I'm so glad not to have been alive back then! Poor Laura!

  2. Me too, Mae! Imagine your goal in life was to clean up after other people and meet all of the housekeeping and dietary needs of a grown man- because he was more important than you. No thank you.