1950s Domestic Wisdom
The following are excerpts from a speech given by Hazel McIntyre at the
1956 Alberta Home Economics Association Convention.
". . . when one thinks of the micro-wave oven which bakes food in cool
dishes - a baked potato in four minutes, a baked apple in five, a roast in
little over an hour. The person who said as she watched the food cook that
she didn't believe it even if she could see it, expresses a little of the
feeling that some of us have. Thermostats and timers on the ovens, caloric
control on hot plates, ovens in the wall, heating in the floor, modern
vacuum cleaners, automatic washers and dryers, steam irons, frozen foods, aeroplanes, television, and nylon stockings! Those of us who have watched
these appear can gloat over every one of them and show the back of our
hand to the good ol days. One thing I cam on that gave me pausethere are
now empty calories and full one! . . .
"And as to the futurethat's the question. Having a 'captive audience' I
shall take advantage of the situation to scold you and, I hope, encourage
you. How many of you, with the educational privileges you have had, still
use your minds? Do you say 'My these new fabrics are wonderful', but don't
know where they where they came from or how to treat them? The micro-wave
oven will soon be offered to you. Can you understand it or will you be
suspicious that somehow or other it is radioactive and will harm you? . .
. As for quick mixes - can you take them or leave them, knowing their
weaknesses and good points? . . . My plea is that you insist on
understanding the things you use every day . . . You could become
frightened at the possibilities (of the future). But it is better, I
thinkI hope you agree with meto do your work as it comes and enjoy all
the wonders of our new worldas it unfolds day-by-day. It is an exciting
worldappreciate it, enjoy it, and use your mind and heart to its limit."
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