1938 3

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, June 2nd, 2013 - 11 comments
Categories: 1938 - Tags:

A Sunday feature – each week a random section scanned from a copy of The Standard, September 15th, 1938. Find out more here.

1938-widow

11 comments on “1938 3”

  1. lprent 1

    Choke…. I must send that to my sister.

    Running factories as her profession clearly won’t prepare her for widowhood in the event that her ex-husband ever dies. For that matter our grandmother ran a shift at Crown Lynn for decades after the depression and war. Our mother spent years doing personnel at various factories and then had her own business manufacturing and selling for several niche markets in nz.

    An old ad like this makes you realise how far the world has moved on in some ways.

  2. QoT 2

    Ah, bless. Because of course “managing a household” is all about petty little things like checking how much milk is in the fridge and properly airing the linen, whereas “managing the estate” is all about Awesomely Complex Tasks like balancing chequebooks. The ladybrain cannot handle chequebooks!

    • lprent 2.1

      The ladybrain cannot handle chequebooks!

      I wasn’t aware that you’d regressed? You’re not going to become a RWNJ are you?

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      Also, when women die, they don’t have any assets to speak of, so it’s no trouble for their husbands to manage their meagre scratchings.

    • karol 2.3

      I didn’t think they had fridges in 1938 – many country places barely had electricity. Housework was a damned hard slog.

  3. Clockie 3

    My Grandfather was a tradesman put out of work by the depression and so started working for himself. Used to go around with his tool kit and materials balanced on his bike, door to door looking for work. As times improved, gradually grew it into a decent little business (bought a van!). He was a good tradesman but had no interest in record keeping or “doing the books”. My grandmother took care of all that as well as the household finances, kids clothes, etc etc. Handed him enough money for his weekly expenses and managed all the rest of the budget herself. I’ve heard quite a few similar stories from other people which leads me to think it was a fairly common scenario for that generation of the working class. My Grandmother and her ilk would have scoffed at that ad.

  4. prism 4

    I knew a life insurance salesman in the 60’s. He would never talk to the wife in a household as she was not entitled to make financial decisions, and was merely a dependant of the man, like an adult child. Women couldn’t open a monthly account with a department store without having a man as guarantor, because women couldn’t be sued as they had no financial resources of their own. Women once married usually had to leave their jobs. The changes that have occurred are massive. Feminists agitating brought these about.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Japanese society far more advanced, where the women regularly handle all household income and finances…and I have several male friends who (quietly) let their spouses sort all these matters out while receiving a small weekly allowance from their own pay as she permits…

    • Clockie 4.2

      We had a family friend who was a single middle aged woman and a lecturer in a tertiary institution in the mid-1970’s. When she went to the PSIS to apply for a a mortgage for her first home, the manager didn’t want to go ahead initially because she didn’t have a male, father or husband to co-sign with her. She won that battle eventually because the times were changing by then, but it shows how long some of those attitudes persisted.

  5. millsy 5

    Last year, the Public Trust Office chopped its free will service. It wasnt really all that publicised.

  6. aspasia 6

    My father joined the Public Trust as a school leaver in 1937. Had war not intervened he might very well have been the executor handling property and important business too weighty for a woman. An intelligent, scholarly, deeply impractical man, he was fortunate in marrying an energetic, managing, capable woman who kept our large and impecunious (because of my father’s chronic ill-health) family afloat. Even so, she still did not know when he retired exactly what his salary had been. But the Public Trust testators would certainly have been much better off with my mother administering their estates.

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