OxHS Upcoming Presentation – Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 6:30pm!

Alice Munro – 1960

Hello Everyone,

please join the Oxford Historical Society for Brenda Boswell’s presentation : ‘Party Line – Supporting Homemakers Over the Airwaves’

From Brenda:

Alice Munro was invited into the homes of many women within the CKOX  listening area every day from 10:10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  CKOX introduced a new program “Party Line” in 1959 on an experimental basis.  Women’s Commentator, Alice Munro invited listeners to call in and describe any problem pertaining to Homemaking which might require an answer. Others in the listening audience were encouraged to phone and supply the answer. 

The show was so popular that Alice produced three booklets of “Hints and Recipes for the Homemaker” in 1960, 1961 and 1965 which were “must haves” for her followers.

Party Line was part of a bigger movement across North America to help women feel less isolated in their homes.  As many women who had joined the workplace during WWII were displaced by returning soldiers, popular culture encouraged women to return to domestic life and look after their family which included creating interesting meals, keeping the home spotless and stain free.  

While Alice Munro did not create the concept of reaching homemakers by the radio, she certainly captivated local homemakers.  How many of us remember the hour after the 10:00 a.m. as being a sacred time in the kitchen.  The presentation will explore some of the early homemakers tailored to reach an untapped part of the market and how the stringing of hydro lines brought the most isolated women a connection to the world.  It also provided a wonderful opportunity for broadcasters to sell advertising.

From Alice Munro to Martha Stewart and beyond, women continue to connect with each other via the media.  

Oh yes, we will also touch on the story of Aunt Sammy, a fictional character created by the US Bureau of Home Economics which focussed on rural farm women.  And how does this relate to the Queen of Romania you ask?  Set your dial to the Oxford Historical Society channel on Feb. 28th, to find out!

This presentation will take place at the Woodstock Museum, NHS. Doors open at 6:30pm and the meeting will start at 6:45pm. This is a free public meeting, all are welcome to attend.

If you have an event, pictures and articles concerning the history of Oxford County that you would like published on the Society’s blog please email us at info@oxhs.ca