You know what fascinates me? The myriad products developed solely to make cleaning easier. Sometimes I forget how new this idea is!
My dad was born in 1920. It's wild to think that his mom was still washing dishes in a basin, probably with Bon Ami and a brush, with VERY hot water. This was the decade that saw the onset of rubber gloves, but I don't know how ubiquitous they were.
My mom was born in 1946. By the time she came around, there were TONS more household cleaning products. No doubt many of these innovations sprang directly from materials developed for the war - like Kleenex. After that, it wasn't a long road to paper towels (or as my dad liked to call it, "paper toweling"), which must've seemed miraculous back then. A rag you can throw away? Sign me up!
I was born in 1968. My childhood smells of several scents - crayons, cigarettes and Pledge. I loved it when Mom dusted - I can still conjure that smell on demand. It was "Lemon" Pledge, but I really don't recall a lemony scent beneath all those chemicals.
Easy Wipes! I found this package at an estate sale a few months back and I HAD to have them (didn't hurt that it only cost me a quarter!). We never had a dishrag in the house; it was always these Easy Wipes (or more accurately, it was probably Handi-Wipes, but they're really the same product). The design on these wipes instantly transported me to 1978.
I am totally going to use these babies in a collage, probably with stitching because both have that awesome fabric-like quality to them. I've also professed my love of these products in a paper collage - this product was from a French magazine in the 60s: