Having a family member “in service” or being in service yourself was common before the end of World War 1. Domestic servants were necessary to run the expansive homes of the upper middle class and wealthy prior to the invention of many electric conveniences.
While today we may think of working as a maid, for example, as being an undesirable position, this stigma did not exist at the turn of the 20th century. Working in service was a respectable career path for the lower class.
Servants lived either in their employers’ houses or on their property.
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