Story: Household services

The up to date housewife

Melanie Primmer’s The up to date housewife, published in Dunedin in 1926, was addressed to the housewife, not the mistress or her servant. Taking over the work previously done by servants was presented as a modern, adventurous thing to do. In fact, servants were so hard to get that there was little choice for many women but to do their own housework. It was generally socially unacceptable for women to work outside the home after getting married.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B-K 876

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Jane Tolerton, 'Household services - Domestic service since 1900', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 August 2022)

Story by Jane Tolerton, published 11 Mar 2010