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Then and Now

Posted by pj bundy on

Do you believe that men and woman were happier at the turn of the century?  A gentleman once told me that he felt that men and women were happier the because men and woman knew their roles in society.

My question for you, dear readers, is what do you think? I believe that women wanted to be independent then, as well as now, but there were many constraints on them.  

 I would like to know who wrote the code of how women were to act during that period.  Over time, women's roles have changed, but are they better now, or were they better for women then?

I love the manners, the elegance , dressing for dinner, as well as choosing from different outfits during the day’s activities. 

I love the detail in the craftsmanship , the quality of the fabrics, and the fact that there was something available for every occasion, like  and silver for a ladies’ dressing tables, and a packing case for all a lady’s needs for a trip, as well. Ladies’ had separate cases for their belongings: makeup, jewelry, shoes, hats and eveningwear, and when they travelled, they didn’t get charged for too much luggage like today!

Luggage was built to last, and it did, as evidence by how many available steamer trunks are found in antique stores.  There’s no question that luggage and other items were built with craftsmanship that people took pride in.

Then there were things are no longer used,  like brass gas lamps, top hats, Bowler hats, and stiff white collars on men’s shirts.  Now if a man needs a tux, he can just rent one, whereas, in the Edwardian era, it was a staple of a gentleman’s wardrobe. We no longer need horses, tack or barns because we have cars; and speaking of cars, there’s no need for hand cranks for either. Even inner tubes are hard to find anymore because they simply are not needed.

If people wanted to go out for a little culture, they could attend a play, which were few and far between, unlike today, if people want some culture, they can view DVD’s , TV, attend a movie at the local Cinaplexe. Today, if a movie does not bring in enough money over a weekend, it is gone and two weeks later it’s out on DVD! How is that for incentive for great entertainment? 

The truth is: life is full of ups and downs, and choices, good and bad.

World War I changed life so drastically for women.  Instead of staying at home tending to the house and children, having garden parties, they ran hospitals and took care of the men who were injured. They made clothes to keep the solders warm and made ammunition, so that the men had a chance to make it home after a battle. When the war was over, many men did not come home, so many women had to abandon the big homes and move to much smaller quarters. Their children lived in privilege, and their looked down on them.  The children had to learn a trade and work alongside those that at one time served them. Let’s face it life changed and they had to change with it.


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