Marriage is a Hard Way – 1906

One can find many postcards from the early 20th century that reflect on marriage and marriage roles.
Some of them, intended to be humorous, may be unsettling today.
(I have several illustrations of men lounging, sleeping, smoking a pipe, etc. while a bedraggled woman wrestles with children, cooking, and livestock.)
This postcard may be more telling than it was intended to be in 1906.
Many women did pursue education, especially to become school-teachers or nurses, and others worked outside of the home as store clerks or waitresses.
In urban areas, factories had large numbers of female employees.
Nevertheless, in 1900, only 6 percent of women in the US had employment outside the home.
While all work was significantly harder and less certain in an era before widespread labor laws and safety standards, the economic power of women was especially precarious.
This postcard, neither addressed nor mailed, bears an artist’s name, R. G. Wells, and a copyright date of 1906.
(The printing is fuzzy, so it could be “1908”. Because the postcard has an undivided back, which tended to disappear after 1906, I am going with the date of 1906.)
We bless the memory of all those who worked so hard to sustain life, especially women.


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