I picked up this 50's picture online somewhere and had mixed feelings about it. It's so quaint and idealized. All the "ladies" are prim in their rigid, permed hair styles, shirtwaist dresses and aprons. They have smug grins on their faces as they happily fulfill their destiny making a three-layer cake for someone else. (A three-layer cake was for a special occasion, not just the family. A cake made for the family would be baked in a 9 x 13 pan.)
Cake mixes were the new thing back then and it was considered a cop-out to use a mix. Real housewives baked from scratch. In fact, any labor saving foods or devices were suspect.
I remember watching the Ed Sullivan Show and stand up comedians would mock the lazy housewives who used the new frozen food items. TV dinners were the latest thing and frozen foods were becoming more commonplace.
But, you can't stop progress by making jokes about it. I can just run over to the Dairy Queen now and buy a superb frozen layer cake. The grocery store sells frozen Pepperidge Farm cakes plus a big assortment of bakery cakes (not to mention, a wide assortment of cake and frosting mixes).
Viva la easy life!
2 hours ago