It is also a great convenience to have a small closet for cleaning tools. Did you ever wish that there was a better place in your house to keep the broom, dust mop and carpet sweeper ? Is there any place where a small closet could be built for this purpose? Or can a part of some present closet be used for this purpose?
In some modern homes the bathtubs are made so that they extend down to the floor and there is no place behind them that needs to be cleaned. Or bathtubs can be set out a few inches from the wall so that it is easy to clean behind them. It is also easier to clean behind the radiator if it is out from the wall a few inches. Have you ever tried to clean behind a bathtub or radiator that was very close to the wall?
If your family should be planning to move into a new apartment or to build a house you will wish to consider this matter of built-in conveniences in making the selection. Can you think of any other built-in conveniences that help to make housekeeping easy? Make a list of the built-in conveniences that you would like to have if you were building a new home.
The Modern Method of Cleaning Requires Less Energy and is More Hygienic. - Many labor-saving devices are designed to make cleaning more truly hygienic than the old methods. The vacuum cleaner which you use in cleaning rugs absorbs dust rather than scattering it through the air. A carpet sweeper absorbs dust to some extent and does not raise nearly as much dust as a broom. Cloths that have been treated with some special preparation, called dustless dusters, can be bought for a small sum of money or can be made at home (see page 208). These cloths also absorb dust rather than scatter, it. You can readily see how a room cleaned with a vacuum cleaner and a dustless duster is more free from dust, germs and bacteria than the room cleaned by the old-fashioned energetic housewife who literally "raised a dust" with her broom and feather duster.
Modern Labor-saving Devices. - The modern housewife not only plans to save needless steps and waste motions in her household tasks, but she also has as many modern labor-saving devices in her home as possible. Many of these devices are designed to save the housewife from physical strain. Why is it easier to clean a rug with a carpet sweeper than by sweeping it with a broom? When we use a broom, we have to move the broom ourselves, but when we use the carpet sweeper the little wheels turn the brushes for us. Even though we have to push the carpet sweeper, it is easier than sweeping with a broom. The carpet sweeper carries its own dust pan along with it. As the brushes turn they throw the dust into the box in the sweeper. The carpet sweeper is an excellent way to take up surface dirt, but it can not be relied on to give the rug a thorough cleaning.
The most satisfactory way of giving a rug a thorough cleaning is with the vacuum cleaner. Like the carpet sweeper it carries its own dust collector with it. The picture in Fig. 121 shows the bag which carries the dust. The vacuum cleaner works on a different principle than the carpet sweeper or broom. It takes the dust from the rug by means of suction. Try placing your hand near the slot and you will be able to feel this suction. Some vacuum cleaners also have brushes which stir up the dust before it is sucked into the bag. The suction is furnished by electric power. Compare the amount of energy* required to clean a rug by sweeping and. beating it with the amount of energy it takes to clean it by running the vacuum cleaner back and forth over it.
Washing machines have taken the place of the old-fashioned way of rubbing out the clothes on a washboard. The clothes are put into a container filled with water which is stirred about by some mechanical means. This movement causes the dirt to be loosened and rubbed out in much the same manner as on a washboard. In some machines the container itself is moved, in others plungers stir the water, and in still others the clothing is moved by rotating paddles. Again electricity furnishes the power which does the work that formerly was all done by hand. While the washing machine is doing the work, the housewife can be attending to other household duties.
Mangles, which are ironing machines, are often used in homes as well as in commercial laundries. Can you tell from the picture in Fig. 122 how clothes can be ironed on a mangle? How would this save labor in ironing?
How the Sewing Machine Saves Labor. - In the days of our great-grandmothers all clothing was made entirely by hand and no one thought the time would ever come when most of our sewing would be done on a machine. In those days girls had to sit long hours, learning to sew fine seams by hand. It was considered very unfortunate if a girl could not do beautiful hand sewing.
Of course, it took much longer to make a dress or apron than it does to-day because now all the long seams and hems are stitched on the machine, instead of being sewed by hand. Indeed, it would be very foolish to spend a long time making things by hand when they can be just as well made and sometimes better made on the machine. Some Improvements in Sewing Machines. - It is interesting to know how sewing machines have changed in type and appearance since they were first invented. One of the first sewing machines, such as shown in Fig. 123, seems very queer looking to us. This first type was operated by turning the wheel by hand. The next type, which most people have in their homes to-day, is operated by foot. The most up-to-date machines are driven by electric motors rather than by foot power. Fig. 124 shows an electric sewing machine. Notice that there is no foot treadle nor machinery in sight below the table. Have you ever seen other types of electric sewing machines? An electric motor can be added to the foot-power machine. Find out how much an electric motor will cost for your sewing machine at home.
Copyright, U. S. A., 1923-1926 by the Singer Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved for all countries.
An Excursion to see Labor-saving Devices. - It makes it much more interesting and easier to understand these labor-saving devices if you can examine them. If possible plan an excursion to a shop where you can have someone demonstrate how these things work. If you were to buy one of these labor-saving devices you would wish to study the various kinds so as to make a wise choice.
Some Things to Discuss in Class. - 1. The girls who have labor-saving devices in their homes should tell the class how they have proved to be worth while.
2. If you could have one of these labor-saving devices in your home, which one do you think would be of most value? Why?
3. Do you have other labor-saving devices in your home that have not been discussed in this chapter?
4. Make a list of all the labor-saving devices you can find out about and arrange them in the order you would choose them for your home.
Complete each of the following sentences. Write out each sentence, filling in the words or phrases that are needed. A blank line is left for each word.
1. A housewife can save ------------ by keeping things in
2. A housewife can save energy if she selects ------------
3. The modern------------of------------ dust is more hygienic and effective than ------------ ------------ of ------------a dust.
4. The------------of an--------------------------, a---------------or a------------, has an effect on the length of time one can work without becoming tired.
5. A house should be planned so that there is a------------for
------------ ------------, and a place to ------------ the
- :----------------------to the wall.
6. The------------and------------should be placed so that it is easy to------------behind them.
7. ---------s,--------------------------s, and ------------ ------------s are electrical labor-saving devices.
8. ------------ on the part of the family makes it possible
9. Modern methods of cleaning save------------and------------
1. A Ten-minute Test. - Make a list of as many things as you can in ten minutes that make housekeeping easier.
2. Write a story about how an old-fashioned housewife learned to save time and energy. Suggestions for Further Study. - There are many interesting topics in connection with labor-saving devices. For example, devices that save labor in the kitchen, is a topic that is worth study and thought. Perhaps you will consider this in connection with your study of food preparation or perhaps you will wish to study it in connection with this chapter. Make a list of the topics suggested in this chapter and add other topics which will be interesting for special study. The books listed below will be helpful in finding material on these topics. Magazine advertisements and booklets published by various manufacturing concerns are also helpful.
1. Household Engineering. Christine Frederick. American School of Home Economics.
2. Housewifery. L. Ray Balderston. J. B. Lippincott Company.
3. House and Home. Greta Gray. J. B. Lippincott Company.
4. Mechanical Devices in the Home. Edith Allen. The Manual
Arts Press, Peoria, Illinois.
5. Home Conveniences. Frederick W. Ives. Harper and Brothers.
6. Good Housekeeping Magazine, and publications of the Good