World war I included all parts of society: men, women, and children. Each played their respective roles. While many people tend to focus on Men and their respective efforts, one cannot leave out the role women played and the direct impact the war had on families. Women supported the military effort as nurses, factory wrokers, female auxiliaries, and farm workers.
From the beginning of the war, women used sewing and knitting to produce handmade items for the soldiers.
It may surprise you to know that the Sewing machine has been around for hundreds of years. Isaac Singer put out his first patent for a sewing machine model in 1851. The Singer’s first ever machine was bulky, slow, and somewhat difficult to operate. Fastforward to the 21st century where you have models like the Singer 7258 which gets a favorable review by Consumer Choice.
Of course, women were always expected to keep the home in tact. The vacuum cleaner itself as opposed to the sewing machine came a bit later. Any rug would normally be beaten manually outside to get rid of dust and dirt. There was no such thing as the canister vac like this current Panasonic model. People had to tweak and fix their equipment if something wasn’t right instead of relying on some product review.
Rationing became the norm for women leavin very little for their families. German, Russian, and even British women faced limits on what they gave to their families.