ATTENTION USERS

LEARN NC is no longer supported by the UNC School of Education and has been permanently archived. On February 1st, 2018, you will only be able to access these resources through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. We recommend that you print or download resources you may need before February 1st, 2018, after which, you will have to follow these instructions in order to access those resources.

Women’s work on a farm didn’t change much in the late nineteenth century. Basic tasks such as preparing food, cleaning, and washing clothes were time consuming and required a great deal of labor. In these videos, participants in the Junior Reenactor program and staff of Duke Homestead State Historic Site in Durham, North Carolina, demonstrate some of the work involved in maintaining a household in the 1870s.

Cooking on an open fire

You must have javascript and Flash Player to play this video.


An open fire is the oldest means of cooking! Here, reenactors make hoe cakes — small corn cakes small enough to be baked on the back of a farmer’s hoe, as they originally were.
Download video (Right-click or option-click)

Cooking on a cookstove

You must have javascript and Flash Player to play this video.


The cast-iron cookstove was fairly new technology in the 1870s. In this video, reenactors show how it worked.
Download video (Right-click or option-click)

Laundry

You must have javascript and Flash Player to play this video.


Washing a family’s clothes and linens was an all-day job — and ironing was another.
Download video (Right-click or option-click)