Subtitle: House Plans, Model Homes & House Articles from Harper's, Scribner's, Godey's Lady's, &c. 1850-1900.
The first floorplan shown points up the pre-industrial condition of labor being cheaper than material:
This neat little dwelling contains only one large room or kitchen,
a; a small bed-room, b; and a store closet, c. The servant is supposed to sleep in the kitchen [...]
The servant's bed takes up probably a fifth of the kitchen; the 'small bed-room' is barely twice the size of its bed. Saved on heating, I'm sure.
Were the readers of Godey's Lady's Book building small cottages for themselves, or their servants; or looking at plans for them to increase by contrast the pleasure in "A Small Villa, For A Gentleman Much Attached to Gardening"?
It is nice to have the context forand 's 1860s articles on rational, honorable, domestic industry, the Christian rescue of woman's profession. Clearly doomed, basically; the intermediate article on thrift, with its daily rations costed out to the penny (onions by the bushel, a Philharmonic and library subscription, servant hire; no annual budget attempted at the servant's wage) is soon drowned out by contrivances to keep up with the Joneses while decrying the (inaccessible and ) overelaborate Jones-Smiths.
The Beecher & Stowe article does fore-run Ikea, etc., by its cunning double-use furniture allowing a family to live a respectable Victorian life in a house of two rooms and a connecting kitchen. I wonder if actual people ever had a piano and two conservatories before building a bedroom with a door. If so, no wonder they wanted a sliding storage wall to screen off the bed, though I can't believe that pasting ornamental paper on it ever made it look better than makeshift.
ISBN: 0971733716So wrote clew in History (19th c.). | TrackBack