Have you ever wondered about the history of maids? We take them for granted, but people did not have maids since the start of history.
In the 19th and 20th century, the economy was flourishing and thus, men and women of high ranking had the opportunity to hire servants to help them in their domestic lives, while they concentrated on other aspects of their lives such as socializing and careers.
Just like today, maids were not paid particularly well, but food and a place to live in was provided. This was much more relevant in the older days where famine and other such disasters were not unlucky events, but the maid will generally able to survive by her employer’s patronage as they are usually rich and famous.
One of the biggest change from past to present is the invention of technology. Remember that people in the past did not have many of the modern conveniences we have today. For example, there are no gas stoves or microwave ovens. If a maid wanted to cook a meal for the family, she would have to do it the old fashioned way by chopping firewood and slaving at the stove for hours!
Because of this, families used to employ many maids and form a hierachy of maids. There would be maids specifically for cooking, babysitting or cleaning, and there would be a chief maid who is like a manager, overseeing all the other maids. It was almost like the maids were involved in a business!
Of course, the invention of many devices such as electricity and vacuums has made life significantly easier for a maid. Thus, such “huge maid groups” eventually faded away and most families only employ a single maid nowadays.
As you can see, while some things have changed, some things stayed the same. We hope this has been an interesting and enlightening read on the history of maids and domestic servants.
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