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« Napkins; to Fold them. |Main| Edwardian Pearline Soap Advertisements »

How Blue Monday was Named

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An Advertisement for Pearline washing Soap - 1892

The custom of having wash-day on Monday has probably caused more inconvenience to the housekeeper's servants, in fact to the whole household, than they dream of, thereby making it a day to be dreaded, and causing it to be called "blue Monday." Every member of a household feels it, from the darling babe to the pater familias. Of course in very wealthy homes it is different. Rich people are supposed to live without domestic care, but in a home where but one servant is kept, and she the maid-of-all-work, the mistress usually has to help get dinner, take care of baby, get the children off to school, having first to put away their Sunday clothes and hunt up their school apparel. Then on Monday the whole house is usually in disorder, because the boys and men must have full sway when they are only at home one day in the week, and on Sunday we let them do as they please. The truth is, everybody is apt to be cross Monday morning, and hence the dread of it-- "blue Monday." It pervades the schoolroom ; children and teachers say they are depressed by it. A scrap dinner at home on wash days, yet how often company comes in and confuses one's plans. I tried Monday, when I first went to housekeeping, as my mother and grandmother before me had done, but never had any peace until a change was made, then harmony reigned.
In visiting friends in the country where it was impossible to get help, the way in which they managed appeared little less than marvelous. They were girls delicately reared, who had never washed a garment, but they would give the visitor a book to read, saying that they would be busy for a time, and in a day or so one would see a basket of laundered clothes as beautiful as any Chinese could have done. They washed on Tuesday, ironed on Wednesday, and when questioned as to how they could do it so quickly, said they could never have done it in the old-fashioned way of washing. They used Pearline and had good wringers, and in summer used a charcoal stove. They had abandoned Monday for wash-day, and from many standpoints, and in many ways, they could trace " blue Monday " to wash-day.
- Good Housekeeping 1896

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