Market Lavington Museum

Lessons in housewifery


After the upheaval of building work and redecoration at Market Lavington Museum, we are beginning to reinstate some of our displays. In the corner of our kitchen, we have items from the weekly wash in those days before washing machines and electric irons.

On the wall nearby, we have a page from

This item from 4th March, 1893 features

and shows girls being taught how to hand wash clothes in galvanised baths, like those in our museum. In our collection of period clothes we have pinafores as worn by the pupils and aprons like the teacher is wearing. However, our wooden school desk is probably about sixty years more modern than the old school benches in this picture.

When the girls had learned the basics, they were expected to practise the procedure themselves.

Next time we will look at some more of the skills and chores that Victorian girls needed to know before becoming maids or housewives.