Judy And John ' The New Zealand

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‘Judy and John’, the New Zealand
Woman’s Weekly’s ideal engaged couple, were preparing for married life and building a house in 1954.
Judy was the expert on ‘the kitchen, the laundry, the decorating and the cleaning’, and she was not to worry her head about the garden, the exterior, the lighting or the roof, as these were John’s concerns. Judy intended to work during the first two years of marriage ‘so they can buy extras like the refrigerator, washing machine, floor polisher, good radiogram and vacuum cleaner, in that order’.1
As Judy’s expectations and aspirations show, cleaning routines occupied a considerable amount of women’s time in the 1950s and 1960s.
Indeed, new products and applicances, as well as their greater availabilty, encouraged greater attention than ever to these chores. Consumer demand was insatiable – though home scientist Norah Holland noted that women with young children demanded modern conveniences, while older women sometimes thought that the purchase of new equipment was unnecessary.2 By 1949, New Zealand company Fisher & Paykel was producing 600 washing machines, 500 refrigerators and 700 vacuum cleaners each month, and struggled to fill orders.3 Demand was able to be satisfied only when import controls were relaxed in 1953. For the next five years, the sale of household items boomed. Washing machines and refrigerators went from being luxuries to items that were purchased at the same time as the house, with the costs of payment included on
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