Once a week my sister and I gather together to watch Downton Abbey. As we watched the season three finale, we often commented to one another how crazy it is that the Grantham and Crawley men couldn’t even carry their own guns, the returned from the riverside and handed off their fishing poles and remember that episode when Lady Sybil wanted to learn to cook and the comment was made she couldn’t even boil water?
I enjoy the glimpse into the servant’s lives. A family within a family so to speak. I wonder do they ponder the glamorous life upstairs or are they content in their own existence? Certainly the servants love the family, this was evident when Lady Sybil passed away giving birth from eclampsia.
Life 100 years ago was certainly different from today. The servants role has, for most, been eliminated and replaced by machines, making life for both servant and master beneficial. Think of all the rugs of Downton Abbey. One hundred years ago, the servants removed the rugs to hang them outdoors, beat them to remove dust and grime and then returned them. A lot of work when you consider today we can use Miele Vacuum cleaners to suck up the dirt, dust and grime quickly. Dishwashers are more efficient today and stoves make dinner quickly, leaving time to live beyond the kitchen.
In addition our age expectancy has improved. According to efmoody.com in the 1920’s life expectancy for a woman was to age 57.7 while in 1997 it had increased to 79.4 years. Modern medicine has cured polio, tuberculosis and other diseases that lessened life expectancy.
Of course, I still wouldn’t mind if there were servants to push the vacuum cleaner and unload the dishes.
What is your favorite invention?