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A Day in the Home

1950s educational film about how to be a housewife

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This film was made for showing in schools to train girls in becoming the perfect housewife. The film portrays the every day chores carried out by an idealised family in an early 1950s Scottish home. The film shows the housewife looking after the baby, getting the children ready for school, setting the table, washing-up, making beds, cleaning, laying the fire, shopping and hoovering.

Questions & Activities


  • Why do you think this film was made and who do you think it was aimed at?
  • Why did houses need coal?
  • Do you think it is a realistic portrayal of family life in the 1950s - why?
  • Who does the household labour in your family?


Create a poster or presentation on 'the ideal family'. What does this mean to you? What would you like it to mean?

Watch some public information films from the 1940s and 1950s. Notice how the instructional documentary style influenced the making of this film.

Find historical sources that show us how different women lived in 1950s Scotland. These might be newspaper articles, advertisements, museum objects, songs or films.

Create an alternative soundtrack for the film - a monologue where the mother reveals her true thoughts and feelings.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-011-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0017
Date 1951
Genre Educational
School Subject Health and Wellbeing, Technologies, Expressive Arts, English, Modern Studies, History
Subject Matter Citizenship
Who Campbell Harper Films (production company), Joint Production Committee of SEFA and SFC (sponsor)
Where Edinburgh, Holyrood
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 13:31
Film Length 13:31