How to Have the Perfect Marriage

Last week we planned the perfect wedding.  Now, it’s time to figure out how to have wedded bliss.  Luckily, the illustrations in these vintage magazines can give us all the advice we need.

The first step to having a successful marriage is … breakfast.


by unknown artist, McCall’s, June 1930

A new wife will want to make sure her husband has a good healthy breakfast to start each day.

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by unknown artist, Ladies’ Home Journal, August 1912

As well as pleasant surroundings to enjoy that first meal of the day.

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by Matt Clark, McCall’s, May 1930

A man will need to look his best before going off to work…

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by Jay Hyde Barnum, Saturday Evening Post, May 12, 1945

And look smartly dressed in all social situations in order for you both to be successful.

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by Stan Klimley, Collier’s, September 18, 1953 

That means a lot of laundry…

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by unknown artist, Good Housekeeping, October 1953 

In addition to all the other housework.  Remember to drink plenty of fluids.

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by unknown artist, Hearst’s International – Cosmopolitan, May 1933

Remember, there’s still dinner to cook.


by Roy Frederick Spreter, Hearst’s International – Cosmopolitan, April 1935

If a wife discovers her husband is unhappy with her cooking …

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by unknown artist, Saturday Evening Post, October 27, 1934

She should make it a priority to find out what he wants to eat.

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by unknown artist, McCall’s, June 1930

Follow these tips to ensure a successful, happy marriage with only the occasional disagreement.

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by Charles Dana Gibson, Life, date unknown

Next week…tips on raising a family.


The advertisements for Cheer, Baker’s Coconut, and the breakfast items are from the Periodicals Collection.

All other images are from the Walt Reed Illustration Archive.

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.