Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homelife in 1910

Using electric appliances, 1910, from Technical World Magazine article. The Electric Home.

Macdonald College had a electricity in 1910, I read it in an era article. (The curator at the museum in Ste. Anne wasn't sure; he believed that electricity came to Ste. Anne in 1915.)

So I guess I will have to have Flo comment on that. (Tighsolas gets electrified in 1913.)

Another thing I learned from the same article (an unnamed document from describing McGill facilities in 1909) is that the food for the students at Macdonald came from the agricultural school. Pork, beef and mutton, with animals slaughtered on site. The farm also provided milk to the school,which is interesting. Remember, it was the age of tainted milk.

They also raised chickens and veggies so I assume the same, that the girls dined on this fare. That, I find very interesting, from a modern point of view.

Now, in the July 1911 issue of a magazine called Food and Cookery, there's an article by a Dr. Carr, about the Healthy Home. I posted it years ago, on because it is a perfect illustration of the ideology of the era. PURITY. It's the sun that is pure here, and I have a lot of sunshine and sunbeams and sunlight in my novel.... I use it as a symbol of 'enlightenment.'

Now I feel I must somehow stick it in the story. Maybe I will have that magazine available in the library at Macdonald..It will only be a few months old.

"Give us a healthy home full of intellectual activity where the homely virtues prevail. Where complete honesty and frankness have free expression. Where the lungs expand with pure air, and the brain quivers with wholesome aspiration and sincere inquiry. Where souls bask in contentment and the sunshine of purity and peace.

It is not necessary that the home be a grand mansion provided with expensive luxuries. A home should be a place where there is plenty of air and sun. Too much shade is bad and yet some shade, especially on the west side of the house, is very comfortable and healthful. The home should stand separate from other buildings so that light and air can enter from all sides. There should be under the home a well kept clean and well ventilated basement.

A two story house is preferable to a one story cottage. The second story is better in every respect for sleeping rooms. They are further from the emanations of the ground where dampness and fog settle. A home that is comfortable and yet not too nice, a home where there is a perfect freedom with no unoccupied rooms, a home where family and neighbours frequently gather together. A dirty cellar is bad, a dusty slovenly attic also bad. But worse than either of these is that dark and gloomy room called a parlor, where elegant furnishings and expensive hangings rarely see the light of day, and still more rarely are renovated by a healthy influx of fresh air.

No man or woman can be enthusiastic without some degree of mental training. Those who do little or no reading except to pore over a novel or lazily scan the daily newspaper, such people will sooner or later become the victims of melancholia or hypochondria. There is nothing in life to enthuse them. Such people stagnate. The heart takes on a rhythm corresponding to the low ebb of their mental life.

…Immorality, wicked sin, these may enter a well appointed home. As soon as anything has occurred to a member of the family necessitating concealment, compelling averted glances, provoking blushing or shame, just so soon the house has been invaded by an enemy more dangerous than disease germs, vastly more likely to destroy the home in the end than a dirty cesspool or leaky roof. "