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07/09/2013 02:53 pm ET Updated Jul 09, 2013

Vintage Appliance Ad Offers To Solve 'Servant Problem,' Makes Us Glad It's Not The '20s (PHOTO)

In my mind, there's no other way to read the prevailing statement in this vintage appliance ad except with sarcasm.

1920 Home Appliance Advert: Universal Appliances, New Britain CT

Flickr photo from JoeWolf

It's not that we, as a whole, mind home appliances. After all, they help us cut down the time it takes to do chores. (Fun fact: That vacuum cleaner, above, adjusted to 2013 dollars via a handy inflation calculator, would have cost around $553. So this would have been a wealthy person's game.) But what makes us glad it's not the '20s is the attitude that housekeeping is something that automatically falls upon the wife and that it's something that's effortless. We won't even touch the "servant problem" mentioned in the ad, either.

Housework is unpleasant, no matter how you slice it. Which is why, over 90 years later, we're still finding ourselves searching for ways to keep our houses from suddenly turning into a junk pile with a street address. It's a constant struggle against inertia -- and that's true even if you enjoy tidying up. And that's even with the best in technological advances.

Perhaps it's not so much the chores, but the perception of what our homes "should" look like. Whether it's the expectations from our barrel-chested strong-chinned '20s husband, or the perfect images we see today on lifestyle blogs, the idea that a home should be a pristine environment is one notion that's somehow withstood the test of time.

What do you say?

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