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Farmers Almanac
The 2017 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

A Woman’s Work Is Never Done?

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A Woman’s Work Is Never Done?

What a Western Woman Did in a Day
From the 1877 Farmers’ Almanac

A “farmer’s wife” of Dwight, Illinois, summarizes the chores in a day’s work:

Rose at 4:30, skimmed the milk, fed the chickens (has 33 young ones and 150 eggs nearly ready to hatch), got breakfast, which was eaten at 6 o’clock. The baby was dressed, the dishes washed, the beds made, the floor mopped, the settling hens fed, chickens killed and prepared for dinner, cookies baked, the baby put to sleep, and the dinner arranged by ten o’clock, when the wife took the lunch and went to the field to relieve her sister [who was to relieve her at the house].

After dinner there was the usual routine work to do, after which watering plants and other garden work occupied her until three o’clock; then she went to the field and dropped corn until night. After supper she milked, fed the chickens, baked bread, ironed, sewed buttons on the husband’s shirts, watered the houseplants, crimped the ruffles on the baby’s Sunday frock and the lace on her own best dress, besides other things not enumerated here, forgetting nothing that should have been done except patching the hole in a mitten.

If the husband has anything like the energy of the wife, there is a wealth in store for that couple which, it is to be hoped, the baby will inherit.

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1 comment

1 Molly { 04.07.17 at 6:16 am }

#INeedFeminismBecause I got exhausted just reading that.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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