THE COMFORTS OF LIFE
Contrast the automobile with the hackney, the electric roaster with the wood-burning oven, the modern bath fixture with the old-fashioned tub, steam heat with the coal stove— and twentieth-century ease of living speaks for itself. The elderly person today can spend a gentle hour reminiscing: of days when power-driven street cars were first installed, when telephones became a common household necessity, when electric lights replaced gas equipment. The middle-aged person too can marvel at the advantages which have come into being during his lifetime. Even the present generation is impressed with its electric razor, its streamlined train, short wave radio, zippered apparel, and a hundred and one other innovations.
Industry Sets the Pace.The material basis of present living has grown measurably during recent decades. It has, moreover, reached a wider and wider buying public, for mass production has brought about mass consumption. Thousands of commodities pour forth from factories daily. Millions of persons purchase goods and services. The household budget comprises a greater variety of articles than is commonly supposed. If it were itemized bit by bit, the housewife herself would be amazed at its length. Industry, then, does more than its share to shape everyday life.
Far-sighted commercial enterprise at the turn of the century capitalized upon the need for such innovations as steam heat, modern plumbing, and electric lighting. Still seeking improvements, enterprise today is tireless in its efforts to promulgate efficiency and comfort in living. Builders attempt to give the housewife a compact structure in which rooms are