ONLINE EVENT: Monday was Washing Day Discovering History Lecture

Event status:

Monday was Washing Day Farm Women's Domestic Work

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Date:
Thursday 03 December 2020 05:30 pm until Thursday 03 December 2020 06:30 pm (Add to calendar)
Contact:
Dr Ruth Ford
R.Ford@latrobe.edu.au
Presented by:
Dr Ruth Ford and Dr Valerie Lovejoy
Type of Event:
Alumni; Community Event; Public Lecture; Seminar/Workshop/Training; Public
Cost:
FREE ONLINE EVENT

Monday was Washing Day…’Farm Women’s Domestic Work

Presented By Dr Ruth Ford and Dr Valerie Lovejoy La Trobe University

Dr Ruth Ford is Senior Lecturer in History at La Trobe’s Bendigo Campus.Dr Valerie Lovejoy is Honorary Associate in History at La Trobe University

The Women Working on the Land project interviewed 80 women who lived on dairy farms, poultry farms, wheat/sheep/mixed farms and fruit blocks from the 1930s to the 1950s. This seminar examines women’s memories and experiences of domestic work in a time before ‘mod cons’. We highlight the ways that women’s domestic work was crucial to the family farm economy and to families ‘making ends meet’. Churning butter, cooking bread, cakes and biscuits, growing and preserving fruit and vegetables, sewing and mending, killing and plucking chooks and cutting up sheep all reduced family living costs and enabled significant self-sufficiency. We analyse the impact of changing technology on women’s domestic work, considering household decisions - and finances - in purchasing new labour-saving domestic devices. The paper also explores how the environment and climate affected women’s domestic work, considering the impact of drought and dust storms. We argue that alongside women’s accounts of long hours of physically exhausting hard work, their stories suggest their pleasure and pride in their domestic achievements, with domestic work both engendering self-esteem and providing creative outlets.

ONLINE FREE EVENT

La Trobe University, Bendigo Regional Archives Centre and Goldfields Library event

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