Good Wife's Guide - really from the 1950's - likely NOT!
The email I received claimed the article, a guide for the good wife which ended in "know your place", was from a magazine called "Housekeeping Monthly" in 1955. Since I had never heard of this magazine in the 1950's and the text just didn't sound like the '50's which I do remember, I decided to do some research on it. For one, no American magazine would post a date as "15 May" (would be "May 15"). For another, the text sounded a whole lot older than from the 1950's.
Finding the origin of the art included with the article was easy. It apparently was from the cover of a magazine called "John Bull" from 1957. (1)
But finding the origin of the article was much harder. Snopes.com took a crack at it, but seems to miss the boat (although they identified the origin of the art). They theorized the text as coming from a 1950's home economics text book. I remember my home economics text of 1957 and there was nothing in there like that - not even close! (2)
A one woman show, reviewed in 2002, apparently used the text as a joke and part of the show. They claimed it was from a 1931 edition of "Housekeeping Monthly".
>>>>In droll contrast is a giant, back-projected ad from the 1930s or '40s: a pretty, smiling young housewife has paused while making a cake; her mischievous, adorable, little daughter is surreptitiously licking the spoon.
A woman's voice, thick with deadpan irony, welcomes the audience to "The Good Wife's Guide" from Housekeeping Monthly, 1931: "Have dinner ready, prepare yourself, be fresh-looking, clear away the clutter, prepare the children, minimize all noise, be happy to see him, listen to him (remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours), make him comfortable, take off his shoes, be a little gay." <<<< (3)
Finally, one columnist for the Reno Gazette-Journal named Cory Farley, remembered the mockup as being circulated on college campuses in the early 1970's as a plea for women's equality (i.e. he saw it himself when he was attending college). So not only was it a mockup but was a scan of a zerox copy apparently. (4)
Cory kindly followed up on our phone call and informed me that a reader had informed him that the text came from a magazine in the 1880's. This is much more believable because things were quite different then. Obviously the line about the noise from "washers, dryers and vacuums" was added later (probably at the time of the mockup for college campuses). If you look closely at the scan, it repeats itself at that place. The author of the mockup obviously wanted to add that to make it look like it was from the 1950's however, was not aware of the fact that in 1955, most women did not have dryers! :)
The scan of the article is included after the sources. (scroll down)
Here's the article or mock up as it apparently circulated college campuses in the 1970's and now is circulating the internet:
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