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Could You Pass A 1954 Home Economics Class?

Put your knowledge of the domestic arts to the test!

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This is Experiences in Homemaking (1954 Edition), a high school home ec textbook.

It's filled with wonderful, sometimes wild advice.
Rachel W. Miller / BuzzFeed

It's filled with wonderful, sometimes wild advice.

Let's see how you'd do in the class!

Fred Morley / Getty Images
  1. 1. What's the first thing you should do when you wake up in the morning?

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty Images
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Make your bed
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Open your window
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Put on your robe
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Brush your teeth
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Open your window!

    Says the book: “Before you go to breakfast, open your window, if you closed it when you got up, and pull the covers back over the foot of the bed so they may air.” The idea is to let your bed air out while you're eating breakfast. Then you're supposed to make your bed (and brush your teeth) after you've eaten.

  2. 2. How often should you wash your stockings?

    James G. Welgos / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Every day when you take them off
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Every 2-3 wears
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Once per week
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Once per month
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    According to the book, “Your stocking should be washed every day when you take them off.”

    Via James G. Welgos / Getty
  3. 3. How often should you clean your toilet?

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Once a day
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Twice a day
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Once a week
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Once a day!

    “The toilet should be washed daily with a strong soap, a long-handled brush, or a cloth which may be burned afterwards.” Really into the instructions to burn something, TBH. Aside from the once-a-day cleaning, they say to clean the toilet once a week with a strong disinfectant.

    Once a day!
    Via George Marks / Stringer / Getty
  4. 4. How often should you wash your hair?

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Once a day
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Every other day
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Once a week
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Twice a month
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    “The hair should be shampooed regularly at least every two weeks and more often if it gets dirty.”

    Via George Marks / Stringer / Getty
  5. 5. How would you go about introducing your friend Gloria to your parents?

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    “Mother, I’d like to introduce you to Gloria Adams.” “Gloria, this is my mother.” “Father, I’d like to introduce you to Gloria Adams.” “Gloria, this is my father.”
    Correct
    Incorrect
    “Mother, this is Gloria Adams.” “Father, I’d like to introduce you to Gloria Adams.”
    Correct
    Incorrect
    “Mother and Father, this is Gloria Adams.”
    Correct
    Incorrect
    “Gloria, I’d like to introduce you to mother and father.”
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    “Mother, this is Gloria Adams.” “Father, I’d like to introduce you to Gloria Adams.”

    From the book: “In making introductions, there are a few simple rules to remember. Men and boys are introduced to women and girls. Young people are introduced to older people of the same sex.” So you present Gloria to your mother, and present your father to Gloria. Yes, this is confusing as hell.

    “Mother, this is Gloria Adams.” “Father, I’d like to introduce you to Gloria Adams.”
    Via George Marks / Stringer / Getty
  6. 6. Which of the following foods should always be washed before you prepare it?

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Steak
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Chicken
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Eggs
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Fish
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Eggs

    “Eggs should always be washed before using; when an egg is opened, the contents often run over the outside of the shell, taking along whatever dirt or bacteria have accumulated there.”

  7. 7. True or false: You can use the same spoon to taste a food several times as you’re preparing it.

    Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    True
    Correct
    Incorrect
    False
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    True!

    “If it is necessary to taste a food several times, the use of many different spoons can be avoided by pouring some of the food from the mixing spoon into a teaspoon. Repeat each time it is necessary to taste the food. This special spoon for tasting saves work and keeps the food clean.” Pretty smart little hack!

  8. 8. The order in which you should wash dishes is:

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Kitchen utensils, china, glass, silver
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Kitchen utensils, glass, silver, china
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Glass, silver, china, kitchen utensils
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Silver, glass, china, kitchen utensils
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Glass, silver, china, kitchen utensils.

    “Generally, the cleanest dishes are washed first and the cooking utensils last.” They do not specify how long you can let that dirty pot soak in the sink before finally doing something about it.

  9. 9. “A right-handed person picks up a dish with her _______ hand and places it in the washing pan. She then holds the dish with her ______ hand and washes it with the dishcloth or mop, which is held in her ______ hand."

    Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Right, left, right
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Right, right, left
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Left, left, right
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Right, right, right
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    “A right-handed person picks up a dish with her right hand and places it in the washing pan. She then holds the dish with her left hand and washes it with the dishcloth or mop, which is held in her right hand." Got all that?

  10. 10. How often should you clean your kitchen sink?

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Once a day
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Every time you wash dishes
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Twice a week
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Once a week
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    “The sink should be cleaned whenever the dishes are washed.”

    “The sink should be cleaned whenever the dishes are washed.”
    Via George Marks / Stringer / Getty
  11. 11. As the saying goes, "Table manners tend to match the _______."

    Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Hostess
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Food
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Guests
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Table
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    According to our authors, "A table laid with fresh linen, with china and silver placed in an orderly way, and perhaps with a centerpiece of bright flowers produces a cheerful effect and helps those who eat at it feel happy. Table manners tend to match the table. The entire meal is made enjoyable, the food tastes better, and it is more beneficial when the table is attractive, the company agreeable, and the talk around the table friendly and interesting."

  12. 12. When serving a meal, place all dishes to the ______ of the person being served using your _____ hand. Place beverages to the _______ of the person being served, using your ______ hand.

    Hulton Archive / Stringer / BuzzFeed
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Right, right, right, right
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Left, right, right, right
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Left, left, right, right
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Right, right, left, left
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    “Place all dishes at the left of the person being served, except beverages, which are placed at the right. When placing dishes at the left, place them with the left hand. When placing beverages, use the right hand."

  13. 13. What are the three types of table service?

    Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Russian, English, French
    Correct
    Incorrect
    English, Russian, compromise
    Correct
    Incorrect
    British, Russian, blended
    Correct
    Incorrect
    English, French, mélangé
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    “There are three types of table service: English, Russian, and compromise.”

    FYI, “compromise” is just a combination of English and Russian.

  14. 14. What is the correct way to eat bread and butter?

    George Marks / Stringer / BuzzFeed
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Break off a small piece of bread and butter it with your knife; repeat for each bite
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Butter a small, bite-sized section of bread, bite the buttered section off/chew/swallow, and then butter the next small section of bread.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Butter your entire slice of bread, then pass the butter dish to the next guest
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Bread should arrive at the table sliced and pre-buttered
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    “To spread butter on bread, break off a small piece of bread and butter it with your knife; do not butter the whole slice of bread.”

  15. 15. It is customary to stand behind your chair until ______ takes their seat.

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The head of the family
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The oldest person present
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The hostess
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The oldest man present
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The hostess!

    "After you have found your place, it is customary to stand behind your chair until your hostess is seated. At the close of the meal, she also gives the signal for leaving the table." Glad to see women reclaiming a tiny bit of power here.

    The hostess!
    Via George Marks / Stringer / Getty
  16. 16. You should always sit and rise from ______ of your chair.

    L. J. Willinger / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The left
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The right
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Either side
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "It is considered correct to sit and rise from the left of your chair."

    They say if everyone does this, no one will bump into each other!

    "It is considered correct to sit and rise from the left of your chair."
    Via L. J. Willinger / Stringer / Getty
  17. 17. Iron cotton and linen fabrics on _______.

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The right side
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The wrong side
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Either side
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    “Cotton and linen fabrics may be pressed on either the right or wrong side."

    Also! Here's a tip: "Press on the right side for a glossy finish; on the wrong side for a dull finish.”

    “Cotton and linen fabrics may be pressed on either the right or wrong side."
    Via George Marks / Stringer / Getty
  18. 18. The ideal family structure is a _______.

    George Marks / Stringer / Stringer
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Patriarchy
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Democracy
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    A democracy!

    The book spends several pages explaining the difference between a democratic family and a patriarchal family, and gives examples of both kinds of families. According to our authors, the children in the patriarchal family end up struggling because they had "little opportunity to make decisions for themselves" and were "poorly prepared for adult life in a democracy."

  19. 19. The work a mother does in the home is called:

    George Marks / Stringer / Getty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Labor income
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Emotional labor
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A gift
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A natural extension of her God-given talents
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Labor income.

    In the chapter on budgeting, Experiences in Homemaking explains that a mother’s work is a form of income, and asks, “Have you ever stopped to consider what it would cost if someone were paid to do the work your mother does about the house? … When estimates have been made of what it would cost to pay other people for the various tasks the mother does in caring for her home and family, it has been found that the mother’s time is as valuable as the average father’s time in terms of money.”

    Labor income.
    Via George Marks / Stringer / Getty
 
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