Darlingmonster Ember: has the snow come to Babbage?
Solace Fairlady: it is that season:)
Darlingmonster Ember: I was not sure
Caesar Osterham: Gospasha Fairlady, greetings
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Almost.
Caesar Osterham: I was understanding that the snows will come at the end of the month, Miss Ember
Darlingmonster Ember: aha the usual season then
Lisa Fargazer nods.
Lisa Fargazer smooths down the front of her apron nervously.
Solace Fairlady: Hello M Chen
Jon Chen: Hi!
Jon Chen: I trust I am not late…..
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Nein, merely a slow start.
Jon Chen: Often times the best way to begin 🙂
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: good afternoon ^w^
Angel Gunnerkrigg: Good afternoon.
Solace Fairlady: Hello M Hysshia, Miss Annechen, Miss Rhianon
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Bitte, let me know if you require a chair, anyone.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach kisses Zanta’s cheek
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Dearest, why don’t you have a seat.
Rhianon Jameson: Hello to everyone.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fraulein.
Solace Fairlady: Hello M Aries
Darlingmonster Ember: welcome M Jameson
Darlingmonster Ember: nice to see you
Lia V waves
Solace Fairlady: Hello Captain Stereo:)
Darlingmonster Ember: hullo there Cpt Stereo
Stereo Nacht: Good day Herr Baron, Frau Löwey, Ms. Fargazer, Ms. Ember, Ms. Solace, Ms. Jameson, Ms. Isala, Mr. Chen, Mr. Osteram, Ms. Lia, Ms. Gunnerkrigg, and everyone!
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: hello ^w^
Caesar Osterham: Gospasha Nacht, a pleasure to see you
Jon Chen: Greetings Miss Stereo, and all 🙂
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Ah, good.
Stereo Nacht hopes she isn’t stepping on anyone toes asshe sets up her chair
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach smiles at Fraulein Stereo.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Hallo, Herr Jimmy.
Jimmy Branagh: Hoy awl!
Jon Chen: Hoy! Jiimeh!
Solace Fairlady: Hoy Jimmy! and Miss Sera and Miss Nika!
Angel Gunnerkrigg: Afternoon, Jimmy.
Darlingmonster Ember: welcome Master Jimmy
Myrtil Igaly: ‘ello Sirs and Ladies!
Lisa Fargazer smiles at seeing familiar faces. “Hello, Jimmy, Myrtil.”
Solace Fairlady: hell Mr Vic!
Nika Thought-werk sits motionless.
Vic Mornington: elloooooo
Rhianon Jameson: Pardon me. I’m hoping a relog will help.
Solace Fairlady: and Miss Myrtil
Darlingmonster Ember: waves to M Igaly
Myrtil Igaly waves friendily to Lisa
Stereo Nacht: Good day Queen Zantabraxus, Miss Thought-Werk!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fraulein Myrtil, we could have used your presence last night.
Darlingmonster Ember pokes the extra rez button for Miss Nika
Myrtil Igaly: really? What happened last night?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Hallo, Herr Victor.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: There was a board with free feminine AO animations.
Myrtil Igaly: aah
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: You might have been able to make use of some of them.
Myrtil Igaly: oh well
Sera: Hello everyone!
Stereo Nacht: Good day Mr. Branagh, Ms. Igaly, Ms. Sera, Mr. Mornington!
Myrtil Igaly: thank you for the thought!
Jon Chen: Miss Sera!
Jimmy Branagh waves all around
Vic Mornington: 😀
Stereo Nacht: Good day Mr. Brear!
Jon Chen: Vic!
Stereo Nacht: (Better sit a bit closer, Miss Thought-Werk!
Solace Fairlady: hello M Brear!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Again, anyone who needs a chair, let me know.
Waylett Brear: Good day!
Vic Mornington: ello Jon!
Jimmy Branagh: Mr. Vic ran a brilliant race yesterday
Jon Chen: He did.
Vic Mornington: awwwwwwwww thanks 😀
Jon Chen: Everyone did their best. 🙂
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach grins
Sera: Sorry I missed it!
Stereo Nacht: Congratulations are in order, then! 🙂
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I hope to give him a challenge next year.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Hallo, Herr Waylett.
Jimmy Branagh whispers “Next year …. muahahahahaha!”
Waylett Brear: Good afternoon, Baron, Baronin.
Nika Thought-werk wishes she could move … or she would … if she were wound.
Vic Mornington: 😀
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach would wind her if she were rezzed.
Nika Thought-werk: 🙂
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: We had best get this started.
Jon Chen: Beatrixe! Hi!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Before we proceed, some housekeeping reminders:
1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on the patterned carpet.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 2) If you do not have a wearable chair and wish one, please contact me.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 3) Please remove all lag-feeding whatevers you might be wearing.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 4) A tip jar is out for our speaker. Do please show your appreciation!
Myrtil Igaly: Hey Cody!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 5) Any tips to help support the establishment will also be welcome – just click on one of the support signs!
Jimmy Branagh: Miss Nika is still a bright orange cloud
Cody Tebaldi waves!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 6) If you’re not a member of the AEther Salon group, there are signs that will let you sign up. You’ll be most heartily welcome!
Nika Thought-werk blinks, salutes and takes a space on the carpet.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 7) Edited and unedited transcripts of these proceedings will be posted at aethersalon.blogspot.com.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: There, that is all the points but one – this is not the Poetry Slam, appreciation is not shown with temporary-rez ammunition, danke.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Let me introduce our speaker now.
Annechen Löwey chuckles.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Lisa Fargazer arrived in New Babbage–in her present state, at least–about two and a half years ago. She stayed with the urchins for a while, but early this year, decided it was time to make her way in the world. She was hired as a maid-of-all-work at the Murgam Asylum, and has been working there ever since, despite the interesting troubles that crop up there from time to time. Recently, she has even taken on a bit of a supervisory role with the new maids that have been hired.
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: I’ll keep my katana in its shuba
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fraulein Fargazer, the floor is yours.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach applauds
Jimmy Branagh: Hoy Zaida
Rhianon Jameson applauds
Myrtil Igaly applauds
Annechen Löwey: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Myrtil Igaly: Hey Zaida!
Solace Fairlady applauds
Jon Chen applauds, well done!
Cody Tebaldi claps!
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D. applauds too
Lisa Fargazer smiles nervously and bobs a curtsy to everyone.
Nika Thought-werk claps happily.
Jon Chen: Hey TS:
Jon Chen: 🙂
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: :3
zaida Gearbox waves to jimmy and myrtil
Angel Gunnerkrigg: Good afternoon, Zaida.
Lisa Fargazer: I know most of us, when we think of the English servant, have pictures of the fleet of workers in the great houses–‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ being the touchstones.
Stereo Nacht: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Lisa Fargazer: However, since New Babbage has a distinct lack of such great estates–we’re not Caledon, after all–
Lisa Fargazer winks.
Jon Chen chuckles.
Cody Tebaldi snickers
Solace Fairlady: *yawns*
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: Hi Zaida and the big dog
Lisa Fargazer: this talk will focus more on the experience of servants in middle-class homes, which will be more in line with what would happen in New Babbage, and is at least somewhat similar to what I experience in my work at the asylum.
zaida Gearbox: mr. victor has a really big house
Lisa Fargazer: Of course, it being an asylum, I do have to deal with duties–and hazards–no house servant could imagine.
Lisa Fargazer looks at Angel and smiles wryly.
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: i can imagine that.
Lisa Fargazer: I hope that this will help you to begin populating the houses and streets around you with more of these unseen people–in your mind’s eye, if nowhere else.
Lisa Fargazer: In case you doubt the ubiquitous nature of the servant, consider this.
Lisa Fargazer: In the 1891 census of England and Wales, the total population counted was about 29 million.
Lisa Fargazer: Fully 5% of that total–1.4 million–were people working as indoor servants in private homes.
Jon Chen: my!
Cody Tebaldi: Up, up…and….
zaida Gearbox: wow
Cody Tebaldi: …away?
Lisa Fargazer: That total was very gender-skewed; only 4% of the 1.4 million (about 58,500) were men and boys; all the rest were girls and women.
Cody Tebaldi turns his gestures off….ugh
zaida Gearbox: dat was 1891 didn’t it used to be more?
Lisa Fargazer: A fair number started work young, too–over 107,000 girls and nearly 7000 boys in service were between 10 and 15 years of age.
Jimmy Branagh: Us boys ain;t much faw bein’ servants.
Sera: so young!
Lisa Fargazer: (I’m not sure, Zaida–that was the only year of information I found.)
Jon Chen: Quite young….to the manner raised!
Myrtil Igaly stares at Jimmy : why should girls be more of servants than you!
Stereo Nacht: Or *in-house* ones; I wonder about gardener helps and stable boys, Mr. Branagh…
Lisa Fargazer nods at Captain Stereo.
Cody Tebaldi: D’pends on what kinda servin’ I suppose. And how much consideration there is in it!
Jimmy Branagh spreads his hands
zaida Gearbox flicks jimmy in the ear for his sexist comment
Jimmy Branagh: Just sayin’ is awl!
Lisa Fargazer: (Yes, this is leaving out the gardeners and stable men.)
Caesar Osterham: That would have been the neight of the era, Zaida. Before that, the RN would have eaten into the available worker pool. After that, well WWI.
Lisa Fargazer: Many of these servants worked in the great houses and estates for the rich; most of the middle-class had to content themselves with either hiring a workhouse child or getting a charwoman to come in part-time.
Lisa Fargazer: As the Victorian age progressed, though, more middle-class families found themselves able to hire a servant.
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: I guess not all servants where registered, as some wouldn’t have been paid, especially in the country estates?
Lisa Fargazer: Still, the fact that the household of Miss Bookworm Hienrichs includes two servants–a housekeeper and a cook–shows that, while they may not be rich, they are certainly more well-to-do than most (and more well-to-do than even their typist realized *grin*).
zaida Gearbox: not paid? nuts to dat
Rhianon Jameson grins
Lisa Fargazer: (That, I don’t know, Ms. Isala.)
Lisa Fargazer: I may as well, though, go through the hierarchy of the different types of servants, especially those in the rich houses and estates, as those at the lower end would often try to learn the skills needed to work their way up the ladder.
Jon Chen: Not paid? Room & board + meals?
Lisa Fargazer: Included are the average pay scales for each type in the early 1890’s, to help give you an idea of how each was valued.
Lisa Fargazer: At the very top were the house and the land stewards–who weren’t actually considered servants, but were professional employees, at or above the level of the family lawyer. The land steward managed the estate and its farms, collected rents, and settled disputes between tenants.
Lisa Fargazer: He was paid anywhere between 100 and 300 pounds per year. The house steward took care of the hiring, firing, payment of, and purchasing for the servants of the estate, and earned 50-100 pounds per year.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: That’s quite a bit.
Lisa Fargazer nods.
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: quite
Lisa Fargazer: Next came the Upper Staff, the creme-de-la-creme of the servants, who ate separately from the rest of the staff, and were deferred to by them.
Cody Tebaldi decides to be a land steward when he grows up.
Lisa Fargazer: The Butler was the highest-ranking servant, and was responsible for the smooth running of the household; he earned between 40 and 60 pounds per year.
Lisa Fargazer: The Housekeeper was responsible for the female staff (or, if there was no butler, all the staff), as well as maintaining the house’s furnishings.
Lisa Fargazer: Being a woman, she earned, of course, less than the Butler–usually 5-10 pounds per year less.
zaida Gearbox: dat’s not fair
Lisa Fargazer: The Cook or Chef supervised the kitchen staff, and prepared the family’s meals (undercooks would prepare the meals for the staff).
Jon Chen: quite a difference.
Cody Tebaldi decides NOT to be a Housekeeper.
Lisa Fargazer: Their pay varied widely, depending on their own abilities and the size of the household, and could be anything from 30 to 300 pounds per year.
Lisa Fargazer: Finally, there were the Lady’s Maid and the Valet, the personal servants to the mistress and master of the house.
Lisa Fargazer: In addition to helping them dress and caring for their clothing, they often acted as general companions, and even handled secretarial duties. Their pay was usually 20-30 pounds per year.
Lisa Fargazer: Next came the Lower Staff, those who, quite often, slept at the top and worked at the bottom.
Lisa Fargazer: The Footmen were at the top of this hierarchy; as they were often the most visible of the servants, appearance usually took precendence over ability.
Lisa Fargazer: They served family meals, assisted the Butler, and accompanied the family on shopping and other outside expeditions. Their pay was usually about 30 pounds a year.
Lisa Fargazer: Chamber maids and Parlor maids came next, earning about 20 pounds per year.
Lisa Fargazer: Chamber maids were actually ranked higher, as they were responsible for cleaning the family bedrooms, and thus were “closer” to the family. Parlor maids cleaned the sitting and drawing rooms.
Lisa Fargazer: The House maids were general purpose workers, earning about 16 pounds per year. Then there were the Tweenies–the Between maids–who would work in the house or in the kitchen as needed, and earned about 15 pounds per year.
Lisa Fargazer: Kitchen maids, who, of course, assisted with kitchen work, also earned about 15 pounds per year.
Lisa Fargazer: At the bottom of the heap were the lowly Scullery maids, who cleaned the kitchen and scrubbed the dishes, earning a mere 13 pounds a year.
Lisa Fargazer: New servants were generally found in one of three ways: word-of-mouth (considered the best way, as one got advice from people one knew); a registry office, where ladies could interview as many as 20 or 30 girls before settling on one; or through advertisements.
Lisa Fargazer: All servants, after their first job, had to have a character reference to obtain new jobs, and even with that, prospective employers often visited the previous employer to ask face-to-face about the prospective servant, inquiring about their morals, honest, cleanliness, capability, temper, and health.
Lisa Fargazer: And yes, in that order.
Lisa Fargazer: It was very important to the Victorians that their servants not not put on airs above their station, and that they be deferential–for instance, always walking a few paces behind when attending the family on an outing.
Lisa Fargazer: As The Spectator put it, “…one woman cannot do happily the will of another woman simply because it is her will, without looking up to her in some degree… If domestic service is to be tolerable there must be an attitude of habitual deference on the one side and one of sympathetic protection on the other.”
Lisa Fargazer: (Considering the relationship between myself and my employer, Canergak… my job was obviously doomed from the start. The doom just hasn’t arrived yet.)
Rhianon Jameson chuckles
Lisa Fargazer grins for the typist.
Jimmy Branagh chuckles
Lisa Fargazer: For the middle-class, if they could afford just one servant, the maid-of-all-work was the key one to hire, as she would handle the vast majority of dirty and heavy work–cleaning, carrying coal and water, making beds.
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D. raises an eyebrow, but drops the question…
Lisa Fargazer: (And this was, indeed, heavy work, as a coal scuttle would weigh between 28 and 30 pounds, and a jug of bath water weighed 30 pounds.)
Lisa Fargazer: If another servant or two could be afforded, then a cook and either a housemaid or a nursemaid were the next priorities.
Lisa Fargazer: Most, though, could only afford the one servant, who then entered into a life of seemingly never-ending work.
Myrtil Igaly: how much would she be paid?
Stereo Nacht is suddenly reminded of the Mary Poppins story, with a housemaid, cook, and nannie
Lisa Fargazer: (Probably the lower end of the payscale I talked about before. On the level of a scullery maid or Tweenie.
Lisa Fargazer: The day for the typical maid-of-all-work in a Victorian home would start no later than 6:00 a.m.–and often earlier.
Lisa Fargazer: She would go around and draw blinds and curtains, and open shutters, throughout the home (except for the family bedrooms, of course, as they would still be sleeping).
Lisa Fargazer: In the kitchen, she would start the fire and polish the range, check that the boiler had water, put on the kettle, and do other chores, such as cleaning the household’s boots.
Lisa Fargazer: When that was done, she would wash her heads and head up to the dining room. There, she would open the curtains, cover furniture and ornaments with cloths, fold up the hearth rug for shaking outside, and then clean the grate, fire irons, and fender–a daily, dirty chore.
Lisa Fargazer: Then she would clean the furniture, mantelpiece, and carpet in that room.
Lisa Fargazer: After that was done, she’d move out to clean the front hall, entrance, and steps, including shaking out mats and rugs, and finally empty all the downstairs fireplaces of cinders, which would be used to bank up the kitchen fire.
Beatrixe Rouse wondered how her shoes while she had them were clean in the morning
Lisa Fargazer: With the last of this pre-breakfast work done, she would go change into a clean dress and apron. Then she would lay out the dining table, then go cook breakfast and serve it to the family.
Lisa Fargazer: While the family ate, she might or might not have a chance for her own breakfast before going upstairs to air the bedrooms, and strip the beds to air them (and yes, this was done daily).
Lisa Fargazer: She would also turn the mattresses, and empty and rinse the chamber-pots (if this was before her family got indoor bathrooms).
Darlingmonster Ember: impressive… and we have not gotten to noon yet
Lisa Fargazer: Three times a week during the summer (less often in the winter), she would wash the bedroom floors, which was an extremely laborious process, involving repeated scrubbings with water, soap, and vinegar.
Jon Chen: This is a LOT of work.
Lisa Fargazer: Since her clothes were now dirty again, she would put on a large bed-making apron and remake the beds. In this, at least, she was usually assisted by the mistress or daughters of the household.
Jimmy Branagh decides now to follow his chosen path in Amoebic-Style Land Barony.
Lisa Fargazer: All rooms in the house were at least dusted each day, with lamps and candlesticks taken down to the scullery room for cleaning there.
Rhianon Jameson: These houses are a lot cleaner than mine.
Lisa Fargazer: Once a week, though, on a rotating schedule, each room was “turned out” and thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned.
Lisa Fargazer: If the family was on the more fashionable schedule of eating their main meal in the evening, this cleaning could be done in the morning, leaving the afternoon free for other chores, including preparing the meal, and giving the maid the chance to change again into clean clothes to serve the meal.
Lisa Fargazer: That evening meal, of course, had to be cooked before it could be served, and the dining room had to be tidied again while the meal was cooking.
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D. muses creating a clockwork servant,..
Lisa Fargazer: And cleaned yet again after the meal was eaten.
Stereo Nacht stage-whispers: “And mine, Ms. Jameson
Lisa Fargazer: Then the maid could go to the kitchen for her own dinner. Afterwards, she would wait on the family in the evening, and mend any of her clothes that needed it.
Lisa Fargazer: As night came on, she would close shutters and blinds throughout the house, and put out the fires and lamps. Her last chore of the day would be to rake out the kitchen fire and lay it ready for the next morning.
Lisa Fargazer: All of this was considered normal, and perfectly achievable by one person, but it could be well after dark, even close to midnight, by the time she was able to go to bed.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach shakes his head
Myrtil Igaly: Better to be hired in a Great House it seems…
Lisa Fargazer: As I mentioned above, the maid had to change clothing a few times each day, especially if she needed to serve meals or otherwise wait on the family after having done heavy cleaning.
Lisa Fargazer: Earlier in the 1800s, most servants didn’t wear uniforms, but simply their own plain working dresses. At that time, the difference between the quality fabrics worn by the ladies, and the cheap fabrics worn by everyone else, was easily apparent; nor could the working classes afford the styles and touches fashion dictated.
Lisa Fargazer: By the 1850s and 1860s, though, new manufacturing methods and cheap cotton from India meant that the distinctions between working-class clothing and the clothing of the middle-class was less immediately visible.
Lisa Fargazer: To keep the servants from looking too much like the mistresses, uniforms were created, and often a maid would need at least a few sets of working uniforms, as well as a special, dark grey or black uniform for going to church.
Lisa Fargazer: Unfortunately, maids had to supply their own uniforms *before* they could start working as a maid. (Most menservants were provided with theirs by their employers. Yet more gender discrimination…)
Jon Chen: And we got paisley.
Lisa Fargazer: A typical uniform for a maid included a print dress, apron, cap, stockings, and high-button boots.
Nika Thought-werk frowns.
Lisa Fargazer: A girl who wanted to go into service had to either scrape together enough from loans from friends and family, or else start work at a factory until she’d saved enough to buy the necessary outfits, which could take as long as two years!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Googness.
Lisa Fargazer: (Thankfully, Beryl was kind enough to loan me the money I needed to buy my uniforms from a maid who’d outgrown hers.)
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: shocking…
Jon Chen: truly!
Lisa Fargazer: A tradition soon developed of employers giving fabric to their maids for Christmas so they could make or renew their uniforms. Of course, that, too, was done at the maid’s own expense.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach frowns at his lag.
Lisa Fargazer: She did, at least, get an allowance of about a shilling per week for her own laundry needs, though she had to wash her own caps, cuffs, and collars.
Lisa Fargazer: In fact, let’s take a closer look at probably the busiest day of the week–laundry day.
Jon Chen: Was this boxing day’s start?
Lisa Fargazer: (I think that was much earlier, Jon.)
Solace Fairlady: boxing day was for paying the tradesmen who vidited
Lisa Fargazer: This was usually Monday, though preparations would actually start a day or two before, sorting the laundry items and checking each item for stains.
Jon Chen: Thanks 🙂
Solace Fairlady: *visited, such as refuse collectors
Lisa Fargazer: Sheets and linens would be covered with lukewarm water and a bit of soda and left overnight.
Teapot Mk 2: Have some tea.
Lisa Fargazer: Greasy cloths were soaked in a solution of lime and water, boiled for two hours, left to settle, strained, rinsed again in more lime solution, and left overnight.
Lisa Fargazer: On Monday, the maid would arise two hours earlier than usual to light the fire, clean the washtubs and any laundry machinery the family owned, and get through her usual housework while the mistress made and served breakfast.
Teapot Mk 2: Have some tea.
Lisa Fargazer: That breakfast would be the only hot meal of the day, as the range and its boiler needed to be reserved for heating water.
Lisa Fargazer: Even houses that had a copper, which could hold and heat twenty gallons at a time, still needed to use the range for more water, as a single wash took fifty gallons.
Sera: oh my!
Lisa Fargazer: As soon as the water was hot, the first load, sheets and other linens, were taken out of their overnight soaking water, rinsed in hot water, and rubbed or beaten with special sticks that were used in washtubs–rather like the agitators in modern washing machines.
Nika Thought-werk stares wide-eyed at that.
Stereo Nacht: My reaction exactly, Ms. Sera!
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: that, is nearly 212 liters,.. oh my indeed
Lisa Fargazer: The sheets were then wrung out, and the water thrown away.
Lisa Fargazer: A bar of soap was shaved, cut into pieces, and dissolved in boiling water to form a jelly, which was rubbed through the sheets. Water was added to create a soapy mass, and the sheets agitated by hand again.
Rhianon Jameson makes a mental note to treat the washing machine more kindly.
Lisa Fargazer: More hot water was added, and the sheets rubbed a third time.
Galactic Baroque calculates that against his water storage
Lisa Fargazer: The water was thrown out again, more taken from the copper (if the household had one), and the linens were put in their first rinse, then wrung out.
Lisa Fargazer: Then they were put in the copper itself, along with one teaspoon of soda to every two gallons of water, and boiled for an hour and a half, to thoroughly remove the soap.
Lisa Fargazer: Once that was done, they were removed, rinsed yet again in boiling water, then rinsed one last time in cold water that had had “blue” put in it.
Lisa Fargazer: (Soaps of the time had a tendency to turn whites yellow; “blue” was a lump of dye, tied in a piece of cloth and mixed through the cold water, that would counteract this yellowing. Of course, if someone was careless, the wash would come out with yellow and white streaks…)
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: ???
Cody Tebaldi: “Blue”?
Cody Tebaldi: Ah…
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: (the laundry thing kinda sounds like my rl laundry time))
Lisa Fargazer: After this rinse, everything was wrung out for the last time, and hung up to dry.
Lisa Fargazer: So there you have it. Eight different processes–one soaking, two washes, one boiling, and four rinses.
Annechen Löwey: For a week’s worth of linens.
zaida Gearbox is glad her sister does her laundry
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: poor poor servants
Lisa Fargazer: And that was And that was one load. The easiest load.one load. The easiest load.
Jon Chen: What was the life expectency of these poor girls in service?
Lisa Fargazer: ((Gah–froze up.))
Lisa Fargazer: And that was one load. The easiest load.
Lisa Fargazer: Thankfully, the asylum has its laundry taken care of by other means.
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: ((hugs the nearby coin laundry machines))
Lisa Fargazer: (And if New Babbage doesn’t have, somewhere, an entrepreneur with a warehouse-sized building stuffed with large, steam-powered machines to take in and clean people’s laundry, then by golly, it *should.*)
Rhianon Jameson laughs
Vic Mornington: hmmmmmm….
Jon Chen: Uh oh….
zaida Gearbox looks at jimmy as the person most likely to build such a thing
Vic Mornington scribbles a note down
Lisa Fargazer: With so much to do, it’s no wonder turnover among the servants was high, especially in households that only employed one servant. The average time spent at any one post was three years.
Galactic Baroque: How many beds does the Brunel have?
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth draws things down
Vic Mornington: 10
Lisa Fargazer: Girls entering service, especially from workhouses or from the country, would often work just for their keep in their first job, while they acquired the training they needed to work their way up the hierarchy; they also needed that all-important reference to aid them in finding a better job.
Annechen Löwey considers repurposing the urchin washer.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach eyes Herr Victor
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: Ouch!
Rhianon Jameson: The urchins get washed?
Solace Fairlady: only by accident
Rhianon Jameson: Oh dear, I said that out loud, didn’t I.
Cody Tebaldi: Nonsense!
Jimmy Branagh: “Abney Parkway Laundy Service”?
zaida Gearbox: i take a bath every saturday night
Jon Chen suggests that the urchins donate the washer to help out the service girls!!
Beatrixe Rouse (beatrixerouse): With no servants the Brunel couldn’t keep buisness could it?
Beatrixe Rouse (beatrixerouse): Needing new sheets to be all posh
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: I take a bath when I fall into a cannal
Jon Chen: Ditto!
Cody Tebaldi: I get washed every time it rains. Fresh as a….plant of some kind, I am!
Lisa Fargazer: ((Never mention the B-word around urchins. *grin*))
Jon Chen: When a girl entered service, how long might her career and life be?
Jimmy Branagh: Oy takes a bawth at … well, never moind where.
Lisa Fargazer: (Jon, it varied–some did it for life, some for only a few years, if that.)
Lisa Fargazer: (It depended on a number of factors.)
Jon Chen: A hrd life.
Stereo Nacht knows how to scare most urchins, should she need to: hand out a bar of soap! X-D
Lisa Fargazer: And indeed, if a maid was hard-working, behaved well, and showed the desire and ability to learn, most mistresses would not only not stand in their way for bettering their position, but would actively assist.
Jon Chen cringes….
Lisa Fargazer: For instance, one woman heard of a position as lady’s maid that she thought would suit her own housemaid.
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: So much work, you’d think the workers would have musscels and be fit
Lisa Fargazer: She actually went to the other lady herself to further her maid’s case, she gave the maid a week off to go and learn a skill she was missing, and even arranged for her own milliner to teach the maid specialized skills that would help her cause.
Jon Chen: Oooh Support from teh establishment, then….
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: An excellent mistress.
zaida Gearbox nods
Lisa Fargazer: Of course, if a maid behaved other than well, she likely wouldn’t last long.
zaida Gearbox: when imma rich lady i’ll be a good mistress
Jon Chen: Wow.
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: ((hard life? Has the Orphan Annie song in his head))
Lisa Fargazer: Maids could be dismissed for a wide variety of offenses–drunkenness, or pregnancy out of wedlock, being obvious ones, of course.
Lisa Fargazer: But even something like dressing above one’s station could be grounds for dismissal, as that showed a lack of deference.
zaida Gearbox: what if dey was only dressed up for church?
Jon Chen: Deference and place….seem key.
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: being to close to the family’s son, i guess as well?
Lisa Fargazer: (Zaida–even dressing more than their usual style for church was greatly frowned on.)
Stereo Nacht: Only if in hopes to marry, or get pregnant, I guess. Otherwise, she is just play-thing.
Lisa Fargazer nods at Jon.
Lisa Fargazer: There were other, more pleasant, ways to leave service, though. Even the busiest maids often found time to meet men–on their half-days off, if at no other time.
Lisa Fargazer: It was an interesting dichotomy, though; marriage, and leaving service because of marriage, was honorable. Being courted was not.
Lisa Fargazer: Masters and mistresses did their best to bar “followers” from their maidservants–which only made those stolen moments of courting all the sweeter.
Lisa Fargazer: I hope this talk has given you at least a basic picture of the life of the servant in Victorian times. There is, of course, much more to it than I could cover in our time.
Jon Chen: Romance among the lessers! 😉
zaida Gearbox: so de anna an’ mr. bates romance is a bunch of hogwash?
Lisa Fargazer: If you’re interested in learning more, let mention two books that I used in preparing this Salon:
Myrtil Igaly: Do you mean once they’re married they aren’t servants anymore?
Lisa Fargazer: (Myrtil–correct. Once a woman married, her job was her home, not anyone else’s.)
zaida Gearbox: once dey married girls start poppin” out babies.
Myrtil Igaly: Oooh
Lisa Fargazer: ‘Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England,’ by Judith Flanders.
Stereo Nacht: A married woman certainly can’t take care of her own house along with their masters’!
Lisa Fargazer: I cannot recommend this book highly enough–it contains a wealth of detail about the Victorian middle class and how they lived. I learned so much from it!
Lisa Fargazer: The other book is ‘Not in Front of the Servants: A True Portrait of English Upstairs/Downstairs Life,’ by Frank Dawes.
Lisa Fargazer: It does focus more on the larger households and estates, and covers time before and after the Victorian age, as well as during.
Lisa Fargazer: A fascinating aspect about it is that it contains first-hand accounts from both servants and employers–mostly from the Edwardian age, but still interesting to read.
Lisa Fargazer: Thank you for attending, and I hope you enjoyed this edition of the AEther Salon.
Lisa Fargazer bobs another curtsy.
Stereo Nacht: `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
Cody Tebaldi claps!
Solace Fairlady applauds!!!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach applauds
Jane: Thank you! Very interesting topic.
Waylett Brear applauds
Rhianon Jameson applauds
Dee Wells: Excellent, Lisa. 😀
Jon Chen applauds.
Myrtil Igaly applauds
Rhianon Jameson: Very interesting, Miss Fargazer!
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: it was very learnfull, indeed ~applauds~
Beatrixe Rouse: YAY!
Jon Chen: Thanks very much!!
Solace Fairlady: Thank you Miss Fargazer! very informative!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: The Fraulein can answer more questions, we do have a few minutes.
Dee Wells: Very thoroughly researched
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Myrtil Igaly: So what about men servants, they can stay in service even if they’re married, right?
Nika Thought-werk claps and is glad she is not a servant … at least … not like a maid …
Lisa Fargazer: They could, yes.
Jimmy Branagh: Thet wos great, Miss Lisa!
Myrtil Igaly: But why were they less numerous, is that because they didn’t want to do the job or because people would prefer to hire girls?
Stereo Nacht: You are a soldier/employed girl, Miss Thought-Werk. Like me. Not a servant.
Lisa Fargazer: Probably because the bulk of the indoor work was considered women’s work.
Lisa Fargazer: All the cleaning.
Nika Thought-werk blinks and listens.
Myrtil Igaly: although in Great Houses there were butlers and footmen and stuff, they were men and did indoor work
Jon Chen: Thnaks much, RL calls 🙂
Lisa Fargazer: Indoors, for men, you had the footmen, and the butler. And perhaps the cook.
Jimmy Branagh: Class and sex distinctions were strongly articulated
Myrtil Igaly: hehe
Stereo Nacht: Good bye Mr. Chen!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fraulein Fargazer, when would you say this style of service started and ended?
Lisa Fargazer: The outdoor work was more in line with men’s work.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Between what years?
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: I think the Great war ended this type of living-style, Especially the big fever after it.
Lisa Fargazer: Well, the real emphasis on deference in servants, and probably from that, the hierarchy within the servants, started around the beginning of the Victorian era.
zaida Gearbox: world war i or ii?
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: WW 1
Lisa Fargazer: World War I didn’t entirely end it, though it did start the upending of it.
Lisa Fargazer: It was WWII that truly ended it.
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: + the cheap industrialised appliences.
Myrtil Igaly: I suppose with more machines invented to help in the house, servants were less useful too?
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: after 1950 or so
Myrtil Igaly: yes that..
Lisa Fargazer: The first-hand accounts in the ‘Not in Front of the Servants’ book went up through the 1930s.
Lisa Fargazer nods at Myrtil.
Solace Fairlady: the end of the class system meant the end of srvants
Solace Fairlady: and the explosion of work in manufacturing
zaida Gearbox: but don’t some people still work as servants?
Solace Fairlady: compared to how many did?
Lisa Fargazer: Oh, yes. But far fewer, and in much better conditions.
Myrtil Igaly: Well you’re really brave for working as a servant at the asylum Lisa! I admire you!
Lisa Fargazer blushes.
Cody Tebaldi does too
Canergak: I had a question.
Stereo Nacht is pretty happy to be a soldier, in face of all that servant work…
Lisa Fargazer turns toward her employer.
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: Does the Queen still employ some servents?
Canergak: Beyond dismissal how were servants generally punished for say, yelling at one’s employer and arguing with them?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Victoria or Zantabraxus?
Cody Tebaldi: I don’t serve no one, presently!
Myrtil Igaly arches an eyebrow
zaida Gearbox: elizabeth
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach grins at the question
zaida Gearbox: elizabeth II
Lisa Fargazer: Erm… my research didn’t mention that, sir.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Ah, beyond my realm of knowledge.
Solace Fairlady: Yes Zaida she has a househoild
Darlingmonster Ember: All travel well… we’re off.
Solace Fairlady: there are large houses that still do
Jimmy Branagh waves
Stereo Nacht: Good bye Ms. Ember, Ms. Solace!
zaida Gearbox: my keyboard monkey’s better half knows someone who was in service to the royal family. he’s retired now
Canergak: In any occasion it wouldn’t much matter. If you ever did start acting subservient to me I’d more than likely fire you.
Cody Tebaldi waves to the departing
Solace Fairlady: thank you Miss fargazer, herr baron, for a most excellent Salon:)
Nika Thought-werk waves to Miss DME and Miss Fairlady.
Stereo Nacht has to leave too
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Auf Wiedersehen.
Solace Fairlady bobs a curtsey
zaida Gearbox: tank you miz lisa. it was very interesting
Lisa Fargazer: Thank you all for coming.
Stereo Nacht: Good bye Herr Baron, Queen Zantabraxus, Frau Löwey, Ms. Fargazer, and everyone!
Lisa Fargazer smiles.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Gute Nacht, those leaving.
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth waves to all that’s going
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Four minutes for anyone else who wishes to contribute to Fraulein Fargazer’s dress fund.
Waylett Brear: Safe travels.
Nika Thought-werk says quietly “Of much interest this was … alas, I must feed the pigeons.”
zaida Gearbox: hi mr. victor. hi miz Jane
Nika Thought-werk curtsies and returns to the office.
Vic Mornington: ello zaida
Lisa Fargazer: Yes, I do seem to be outgrowing some of my attire…
Jane: `Hello, zaida
Lisa Fargazer blushes.
zaida Gearbox: you gettin’ taller?
Myrtil Igaly: growing up!
Jimmy Branagh: Thanks Miss Lisa! Thet wos a good one. Gotta run awl!
Jimmy Branagh waves
Sera: Thank you, Miss Fargazer. Most interesting.
Lisa Fargazer: Bye, Jimmy!
zaida Gearbox: i probably won’t ever be very tall. my sister’s all grow’d up an’ she’s only 4’10”
Bloodfang TS Clawtooth: waves to Jimmy
Sera: Thank you, Baron.
zaida Gearbox: bye jimmy
Cody Tebaldi: See ya Jimmy
Hysshia a’Suolla an Isala Ph.D.: I must takle my leave too, sadly, i have obligations elsewhere. It was most informative, my thanks.
Myrtil Igaly: I’m gonna go back home too, thank you for the talk Lisa!
Cody Tebaldi: Yeah ta muchly, Lisa!
Waylett Brear: Good evening, All.
Sera: Goodeve, everyone
Myrtil Igaly waves to all
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Danke for the landmark.
Lisa Fargazer: Safe travels, those leaving.
Angel Gunnerkrigg: Thank you, Lisa.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach waves at Herr Ambassador Baroque.
Caesar Osterham: And, folks, there are pictures up of today’s Salon
Lisa Fargazer smiles at Angel.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Danke, Tovarisch.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I am picking up the tipjar now.
Caesar Osterham: My pleasure, Tovarish
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Last chances.
Galactic Baroque: Herr has not been an Ambassador for a very long time.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach grins
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: You still served.
Galactic Baroque: What is up for next month?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Christmas!
Canergak: Well, when you are done here Lisa we must talk.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: The Boiler Elf will come discuss the holiday with us.
Annechen Löwey nods.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Danke, M~ Canergak, for allowing her this time.
Lisa Fargazer: Yes, sir.
Angel Gunnerkrigg: What an auspicious time of year..
Galactic Baroque: Someone better get some boxes unpacked.
Wildstar B. waves goodnight to all
Dee Wells: Thank you, Lisa. That really was excellent. I hope Mr Canergak knows how fortunate he is to have such a treasure in his service. Take care, all 😀
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach smiles
Lisa Fargazer sighs in relief, glad to have gotten through it–apparently rather well.
Jane: You did a lovely job.
Lisa Fargazer: Thank you.
Caesar Osterham: It was a veritable triumph, Miss Fargazer
Angel Gunnerkrigg: You held up rather well, all things considered.
Lisa Fargazer nods.
Caesar Osterham: I’m certain no one could tell that you weren’t a seasoned lecturer
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Captainess, I didn’t see you come in.
Lisa Fargazer: ((Ooooo–sorry, Captain Sprocket. You missed it.))
Lisa Fargazer: I should be getting back to the asylum. I’m sure there’s work waiting for me.
Lisa Fargazer: Not to mention another… chat with Mr. Canergak.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fraulein, the Consulate should be safe for you should you need it.
Angel Gunnerkrigg: It would be prudent.
Lisa Fargazer: Thank you, sir.
Lisa Fargazer: Good evening, sirs and ma’ams.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Doctor Mason could probably use a human around now and then.
Lisa Fargazer coughs and nods.
Annechen Löwey: I would be able to spply tranquilizer darts and target practice, as well.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: …all those clank daughters….
Lisa Fargazer slips away, hastening south.