America’s Housekeeping

I got a new book today!

Well, actually it’s quite old.

America’s Housekeeping Book, published in 1941.

I’ve been reading Grace at What if No One’s Watching go through 100 Days to a Happy Housewife.  She’s doing it as a project of sorts, and often refers to America’s Housekeeping Book.

Anyone who reads me with any regularity — well, even anyone who just glances through the site — will recognize my love for “retro” feels and looks.  I love the 1940’s and 1950’s — especially anything related to the kitchens of the 40’s and 50’s.  My very favorite, go to it first cookbook, is my 1950 Betty Crocker – ‘Betty’s’ first cookbook:

I love the recipes and the pictures.

I’ve spent hours just reading this cookbook.

So when Grace kept mentioning the America’s Housekeeping Book, I did a search and found one.  The description said, “No dust cover, binding is cracked.”  I figured, for $3.25, I could deal with a cracked binding and no dust cover.  Imagine my surprise when I received a first edition that was signed by the original owner!

It is complete with her own personal notes!

I feel like I’m holding a piece of history.

When we first bought our house, one of my first purchases was my Martha Stewart Homekeeping Handbook:

I like to imagine that my America’s Housekeeping Book was purchased by a young bride or a young mother and that she carefully poured through the pages to learn what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and with what tools.

This book is so comprehensive.  It covers everything from how to determine the size of house you want to buy, what to spend on it, how to properly purchase children’s furniture so that it is the right size for the children, how to schedule your housework, how to recover a piece of furniture, budgeting, planning, cleaning, managing household employees, laundry, etc. etc. etc.  I LOVE THIS BOOK.

I can imagine that I will be spending hours just reading this book,

enjoying this slice of history,

trying to imagine the women who have read it before me,

who have thumbed through the same pages,

who have taken the advice and the teaching to heart and improved their environments and their homes.

I love this book.


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