Story: Women’s health

Housemaid's knee (1st of 2)

Housemaid's knee

Domestic service, the commonest form of paid employment for women, had its own hazards. Housemaid’s knee, an inflammation caused by kneeling, was one of the best-known. Floor scrubbing, low dusting, and stove and fireplace cleaning all meant kneeling. This woman, wearing the uniform of a domestic servant, is cleaning out a coal-burning stove. It was a dirty job done daily in most households.

Using this item

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira
Reference: C9423

Permission of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Women’s health - Pākehā women’s health, 1840s to 1940s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/31469/housemaids-knee (accessed 12 December 2019)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011