With ‘work’, we usually think of paid jobs – occupations that involve some form of work for an employer that pays you as compensation for your labour. What then is everyday cooking, washing clothes, or cleaning the house?

Housework is as old a form of toil as any other. It is vital to maintaining a household – and by extension, wider society. Without food, rest, warmth or hygiene, we would not be able to function. The objects and processes we use to fulfil these needs may have developed, although the essentials remain the same.

Our social history collection is filled with an assortment of housework objects and oral histories – reflecting the rich variety in North Lanarkshire’s home life.

From the collection: