Living: Upstairs, Downstairs Revisited

The dwindling ranks of domestics gain new respect

Soon after dawn, cleaning women used to stand in a row on Burnside Avenue in The Bronx, waiting for well-heeled Manhattan matrons to drive up and hire them for a day's work. "Often they'd ask to see your knees," recalls Geraldine Miller of those lineups in the '30s. "The women with the worst scarred knees were hired first because they looked like they worked the hardest." Their pay for an eight-hour day: 30¢ to 40¢. Today their pay may be as much as $40 a day, and...

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