The Second Shift, 1960s–1990s
The 1950s and 1970s saw another surge in the numbers of women working for pay outside the home. Higher education, second-wave feminism, and the economic downturn of the 1970s all led to the widest swath of women moving into the paid workforce. Among them were middle-class married women with children.
"My Wife Doesn't Work," around 1965
Courtesy of Library of Congress, POS 6 - US, no. 956
Gift of Donald W. Foote in memory of Elizabeth B. Foote
What do you think this cutesy apron is saying about housework? About women?
Harder family with their Ford, Pasadena, California, 1955
Nancy Harder drove the station wagon when taking their children to doctors' appointments, schools, and other local places.
Gift of George and Nancy Harder
Mother's Helper game, 1968
Gift of Sara M. Krohn
View object record
A mother's work is never done, and even little helpers must be managed. Father must be out doing paid work.