Monday, 24 September 2012

Two brides, wealthy or not, they'll agree on this

Whether she is the richest bride in the country or just another young wife starting out...she'll need an electric cleaner. No matter how wealthy she is, she cannot buy a better cleaner than The Hoover; yet no one can buy a more economical one. You can have it from as small a down payment as 10/.

From an advertisement in The Bride Book published in 1938. 182 pages containing everything you need to know about getting married and running a home. 

Another advertisement aimed at The Wealthy Wife;
A boon to the newly married as well as to the experienced housewife…an additional servant in your house ready at all times to run your errands and save your time. A patient, cheery soul, no sulks. No back-chat, no moods. She does her work quickly, economically, and well. Her name is: The Telephone. Her address is: Any Post Office. Her cost is: 7/- to 9/- per month. Extensions which save your time, your temper, your staff, and your stair-carpets cost only 3/6 to 7/- per quarter. You’ll get into all sorts of hot water with relations – his as well as yours – if you maroon yourself without  a telephone.

Tinned soup, peas and cold meats are the order of the day in this advertisement for Canadian canned foods.

However, new brides are advised that "cookery is common sense rather than science" 
It is obvious that for making pastry or jam you want weights, measures and careful timing. Yet it is not an exaggeration to say that the dangerous woman in the kitchen is the one who goes mercilessly by thermometer, scales and such-like. Apart from the fact that she may not succeed in making a dish in spite of all her precautions, there is something far more fundamentally important which is wrong and that is her mental attitude!

Menu's and meal planners are provided;
Sunday:  Luncheon - Grapefruit, shoulder of mutton boulangere, plum tart (hot). Dinner - cabbage soup, pigeon pie, vegetable salad, cream cheese, fruit
Monday: Luncheon - Ham omelette, silverside of beef (hot) and its vegetables, plum tart (cold). Dinner - Tourain, emince of mutton with baked potatoes, Welsh rarebit.
Tuesday: Luncheon - Maltese Curry with rice, lettuce salad, cheese. Dinner - Tourain, grilled herrings with mustard sauce, silverside of beef (cold), apples Normande.
Wednesday: Luncheon - Hors d'oeuvre, Alsatian Salad, Macaroni cheese, wine jelly. Dinner - clear soup, escalopes of veal Viennese with purée of potatoes, chocolate mousse.
This makes me wonder if the 1938 bride ever left the kitchen!

Once the cooking is done the bride must still take care of her personal daintiness;
With the products now available to us, there is no longer any reason or possible excuse for a girl not to be dainty about her person. And the fastidious girl takes no chances. She realises that odours caused by perspiration or other secretions can sometimes be detected by others when they are not apparent to herself. The weekly use of a liquid deodorant should be a fixed and unalterable habit.Weekly??

She should wear a girdle at all times;
Suppose you never wore shoes, little by little your feet would spread. In certain ways the same thing applies to the figure. At the moment you may have no unwanted curves or bulges, but as time goes on, the body, like the shoeless foot, begins to spread. 

and always choose the correct riding kit!
The correct riding kit shows the average girl off to a very pleasing advantage. But it must be right. When it is, the wearer looks trim and smart. When it is not she looks merely dowdy.

and beach shoes;
Very few feet look at their best in flat rubber beach slippers. But since there is a limitless variety of sandals and slippers with heels, there is no reason why every foot should not look neat and trim.

Lovely to look at and so is her home!

Her beauty is enhanced and maintained by a careful discrimination in the choice of cosmetics.

Her home is always fresh and lovely too, because she used the same discrimination in its decoration. She insisted on the use of Paripan throughout. 

Paripan has enjoyed a world-wide reputation for over fifty years. It is used in Royal Palaces, mansions, and thousands of homes throughout the world. Communicate with us before giving your decorator instructions, as we can offer you many helpful suggestions. 

Ye gods - Cupid has a lot to answer for! 

When Cupid shoots his arrow, he waits just long enough to see it reach its destination before darting off to new shooting-grounds. When the thrill of getting married, and honeymooning, is just a little thrust into the background by domesticity, the young bride must turn to more prosaic matters. And this, we think, is a suitable moment to tender some advice regarding meals.

You will, of course, consider very seriously your own and your husband's diet. He'll need a food that will keep him alert and cheerfully healthy - that will replace the strength used up daily in work and sport. And Vita-Weat will do this - will help you both - because, by containing all the goodness of whole wheat with all its vitamins, Vita-Weat gives abundant energy (plus slimness of figure) - aids digestion and is definitely real nourishment.

This mind-boggling book was sent to Miss G. E. Miller, Devonshire Place, London on the 4th April, 1938. 
I didn't know what to expect when I found and opened Miss Miller's parcel, but I must say I wasn't disappointed. I've had a lot of fun reading it, but I'm thankful I don’t have to abide by it.

As I have no idea what it might be worth (if anything) I've decided to list it on eBay with a starting price of £0.99. I'm happy to report the bride's book sold via eBay. I’m sure the new owner will have a lot of fun with it.

Were you given any words of wisdom or advice on your wedding day?


  1. Hello Barbara. Is Somerset soggy this morning? I got no words of advice at our wedding. I like to think maybe that was for the best as Liz and I are still enjoying togetherness 45 years on. Might have been different had she have read that book..........

  2. Morning Percy, thanks as always for your comment. Somerset is not just soggy it's under water. I do hope you are both dry and warm! My dear old dad’s words of advice on the way to the church were “you can still back out, but once you make your bed, so you must lie in it” Divorce was a word not mentioned back then – how times have changed! Congratulations on your 45 years (or should I be congratulating Liz?)

  3. Well, times have certainly changed, haven't they? I didn't get any words of advice, but my older sister did, at least I think she did. My mother made me leave the house. I always wondered what was said, but my sister claims she can't remember.

  4. Too funny - thanks for sharing!!

  5. Barbara, yes I feel the accolades should go to Liz for her tolerance and patience over all these years. What a picture that 'paints' of you and your Dad on the way to the church.............. I was so proud to escort our daughter to her wedding. Alas she severerly censered my speech but Paul [our son] (best man) was superb. I still feel smug that Liz thought I was the best man on our day

  6. Oh its 'im again! Yes I admit it! But I would just like to pass on the advice my Mum got from her Mum ( Circa 1930 + ) [ Also bare in mind brother is a Sargeant in the Royal Engineers] " If anyone does anything to you you don't like tell your brother!".............. Well I mean poor girl! How do you know without you try it..........Then what courage to explain to YOUR BROTHER..................

  7. These are marvellous - what a weight of expectation there was on brides to be perfect 'housewives' in those days. (Even the term itself seems odd now!)

    I think I'll need to see a cover of the book I'm looking for. As you say I think there were so many books with a similar storyline it will be hard to be sure. I keep thinking I'll spot it somewhere - that has happened to me before!

  8. Hi Percy (aka Cousin John), see I knew it was you all along! I can just imagine how proud you were and my dad was too. Don’t forget it was a long time ago, and he firmly believed that marriage was for life. He was offering me a way out but also telling me that once I walked up the aisle, there was no way out. He was a lovely dad, much like your dad – makes sense considering they were also brothers.

  9. Hi Leanne, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  10. Hello Alex, things certainly have changed. I will have to ask my sister if mum or dad gave her any words of advice. I was 12 when she got married so I probably wouldn't have noticed - far more interested in the dresses and shoes!

  11. Hi Leanne, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for calling in.

  12. Dang!! Cover blown at last! ...... Hi Cuz!

  13. Hello Sharon, I can remember being excited at become a housewife! I can’t tell you the number of forms I filled in using that term as my ‘occupation’ – how times have changed!

    There should be an example of the book cover on the Enid Blyton Society website

  14. Love these retro advice pamphlets and books! I have some cook books with similar (advertisements) suggestions. One I love is the "10 Cakes Husbands Like Best" It goes something like "Which one will he choose? Bake all are sure to win compliments..blah..blah." So funny to read. My favorites from your post are regarding the "personal daintiness" and the "you should wear a girdle at all times"!! And no I received no advice from my parents when I married, they were just happy I finally did!

  15. Angie Ouellette-Tower26 September 2012 at 02:43

    You have a wonderful blog! I'm your newest follower from Michelle's blog award post.

  16. Bake all 10 – you have got to be kidding! My advice – bake one if he doesn’t like it eat it yourself!
    The comment about your parents made me laugh, but I bet it wasn’t the case. I bet they missed you. I know mine did.

  17. Hi Angie, thank you for your lovely comment. I've just visited and followed your fantastic blog. Barbara.

  18. Hi again Barbara - thanks for this link - its a lovely looking site. When I'm not so snowed under and have a proper moment to myself I'm going to have a good browse!

  19. Yeah! I can comment again! Disqus was not letting me comment that past two days. I can't figure out why. I loved this post and thought the ad for the vacuum was great! I can not get over some of the advice for newly weds. Thank goodness I didn't get married back then- as I rarely cook- I would have had some problems. My husband loves cooking- so he has that are covered. The only adivce I was given at my wedding was- Don't go to bed mad. I think that is certainly helpful advice. Thanks for sharing- I am always fascinated to see the advice women have been given in the past!

  20. In my excitement that I was getting to post- I noticed a few typos! Disqus was not letting me comment the past two days (not that). Also- My husband has that area covered. :)

  21. lol, I loved these! Just too much fun. I'll agree on the Hoover though. I have 3 Hoovers - a vacuum, a carpet scrubber, and a hard floor scrubber, and I love them all.
    As for Disqus - they can have some quirky problems.

  22. Advertisements from the good old days! They really romanticized the idea of being a young wife ~ Ruler of the kitchen. I think I would have liked dressing prettily and baking cakes, too. As for the wedding day, if/when that arrives, I'll be sure to let you know of any given words of wisdom!

  23. Hi Sharon, it's an excellent site packed full with interesting snippets and information. I know what you mean about time, there is never enough of it to go around!

  24. Hi Stephanie, I’m so sorry about the problems with Disqus. I’ve looked into removing it, but if I do all my lovely comments will be lost, and I don’t think I could bear that.
    That’s an excellent bit of advice and one I’ve tried to live my life by – not always possible of course, but I do try. Thank you so much for persevering with your comment. Barbara.

  25. All comments with or without typos happy received! I do it all the time - mostly because I'm always in such a hurry.

  26. Hi Donna, I would love to borrow your carpet scrubber our carpets are in need of a good clean! Glad you enjoyed the post. I had fun putting it together.

  27. Hello Claudine, dressing prettily and baking cakes must have been the good part, but I’m not so sure about all the rest. I attended domestic science lessons when I was at school (cooking and housewifery). There were no options – girls did domestic science boys did woodwork. The main objective was to provide a three-course meal for the teachers. We were always up against the clock trying to get everything ready, serve the meal and then clean the ovens, wash up and all the rest of it before we could go onto our next lesson. It put me off cooking for life!
    You must let me know when you do get married – maybe I can share some words of wisdom with you – give me lots of warning though as I would need to think about it!

  28. Thanks Barbara

    I enjoyed this post. I just love reading books like this and looking at the old advertisements.

    After reading how a wife should carry out her duties - I fail!

    The only advice I remember being given on my wedding day was when someone told me to "run"

  29. Amazing my husband and I are going to celebrate 20 years of wedded bliss and I don't wear girdles, I'm sure I've spread, I wear flat rubber beach slippers all day and my mental attitude in the kitchen is horrendous! On top of it all, I am marooned out here in the desert with or without a phone. I love it!

  30. No girdle and rubber beach slippers what would your mother-in-law say? Thank you for making me smile. :)

  31. (After reading how a wife should carry out her duties - I fail!)
    You and me both Michelle! I love that someone told you to run, how funny.


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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