A Day in the Life – Two Women in the early 1940s

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One in wartime Britain, the other in pre-war America 1941 –

A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in 1941

In late 1941 – quite coincidentally, there were two picture essays of a typical day in the lives of two different women in the 1940s.
The first, an American housewife, by the name of Jane Amberg from Kankakee, Illinois.USA.
The second, a young British girl called Mrs Olive Day, in bombed out London. She is newly married and her husband Lieutenant Kenneth Day is away on war duty.

Morning.

Olive---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940s

London. UK. 1941

London – Olive Day wakes at 7am at her home in Drayton Gardens, South Kensington. Olive sleeps with her gas mask, torch and a book handy, in the event of having to make a quick dash to the air raid shelter during the night.

Jane---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940s5

Illinois. USA.1941

Illinois – Jane Amberg, mother of three, starts her day early at 6.30.The only time they get to themselves, Jane and her husband John breakfast alone.

Olive---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940sb

London.UK.1941

London – Before going to work, Olive makes her bed, cleans out her fireplace – carefully separating cinders from ash. ( the cinders are re-used and the ash is used for fertilizer in her garden) .

Olive---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940sc

London.UK.1941

Olive cleans her landing,pointing out a hole in the ceiling made recently by a fire bomb which came through during a bombing raid.

Jane---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940s4

Illinois.USA.1941

Illinois – Jane drives her husband to work, her kids to school and by mid morning is home making four beds and tidying her living room.

Jane---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940s

Illinois.USA.1941

Today is sewing day with her friends, so she heads over for coffee and an hour of fun and gossip.

Olive---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940sd

London.UK.1941

London – Olive makes it to the tram just in time for work. She works as a ‘girl clerk in a war-time organisation’ ( no further information is supplied by the war office and that most of her day is filled by filing .

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1940s British Wartime Women Books

Afternoon / Early Evening.

Jane---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940s3

Illinois.USA.1941

Illinois – Jane is back by noon to fix up lunch. She collects both kids and husband at 1pm. She calls herself a “short order cook”. Later Jane does the washing and prepares the evening meal.

Olive---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940sf

London.UK.1941

London – After work Mrs Day collects her meat ration from her local butcher.

Olive---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940sg

London.UK.1941

Once home she prepares and puts her dinner into the oven after a busy day.

Olive---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940sh

London.UK.1941

While her evening meal is cooking, Olive settles down on her bed with the evening paper and a spot of sewing.

Jane---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940s7

Illinois.USA.1941

Illinois – Jane collects her kids from school and takes them shopping.

Jane---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940s6

Illinois.USA.1941

She cooks the evening meal and sets the table for John and kids. After dinner, she bathes the children and puts them to bed.

Jane---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940s8

Illinois.USA.1941

Tonight Jane must fill the role of her husbands glamour girl at a business dinner and dance.

1940s-complete-makeup-dressing-table

Her make-up is set out on her table. Then it’s off to the dance. Though she’s tired, it’s always nice to get dressed up.

Olive---A-Day-in-the-Life---Two-Women-in-the-early-1940si

London.UK.1941

London – Olive makes up a bunk in the air raid shelter in the cellar of her South Kensington home. Always good to be ready for a bombing raid after that near miss through her ceiling.

That’s all
Text©Glamourdaze 2015
Imagery courtesy Imperial War Museum and Time Inc 1941

 

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Comments

  1. What a unique way to present this information! Almost like watching a television program of a day in the like in the 40s. Well done!