Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Gold Standard

14 hour housewives of 8 hour men need Gold Dust to get them through their work.  Man, it's not easy being a housewife.  Washing, cooking, laundry all would have been done by hand back then and taken a rather large amount of time to complete.  I should know since I lived in the Philippines for 3 years and did my laundry by hand along with helping my wife clean the house. Eventually we hired a maid for the princely sum of $30/month which is what many  people back in the early 1900's did as well.  It was sign of being solidly middle class when you could afford a maid. 

The Gold Standard, advertisers invoked it every time they wanted a product to effuse the same quality as gold.  Often they would use terms such as Solid Gold, Gold Seal, et. al. to show that their product was of the highest quality possible.  In the case of Gold Dust, I've seen many ads for it dating from the later 1800's into the 1900's, my guess is it was something like Bon Ami or Barkeeper's Friend, a simple scouring powder made from Feldspar.  Truth be told, it was a vast improvement on what would have been used earlier.  I've seen older books of housewife instruction mention mixing washing soda with kerosene to clean taps, that must have smelled awful! 

If we consider Bon Ami to be the later relative of Gold Dust then I use it myself even now.  Bon Ami is cheap, I think $.83 a can last time I purchased it in Publix and it really does a great job of scrubbing just about anything.  Sometimes it's the products that have been around the longest that do the finest all around job.


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