Stage, Sarah and Virginia B. Vincenti, eds. Rethinking Home
Economics: Women and the History of a Profession. Ithaca: Cornell
University Press, 1997.
Kroch Library - call number TX23.R43.
ILR Library (Ives Hall) - call number TX23.R43 1997.
Mann Library and Olin Library - call number TX23.R48x 1997.
This compilation of essays about home economics provides a broad
picture of the newest historiography about the history of women
in home economics and home economics as a profession. The essays
in the book were originally written for a l990 conference at Cornell
University entitled More Than Glorified Housekeeping: Rethinking
Home Economics. It covers distinct fields within home economics
(nutrition, textiles, public health, and child development), the
social significance of the movement, the place of men in the field,
the African American home extension service in the South, and critical
problems that home economists faced in terms of pay and prestige.
There are a number of essays that also deal with the role of the
home economist in the consumer culture. These suggest there was
some conflict within the field over their historic role as consumer
advocates versus their new roles in product design, marketing, and
sales. Joan Jacobs Brumberg contributes a short visual essay about
historical films on home economics which she identified and donated
to the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell.
Tobias, Sheila. Beginning in the 1960s. The Politics of
Women's Studies: Testimony from 30 Founding Mothers. Ed. Florence
Howe. New York: Feminist Press, 2000.
Olin Library - call number HQ1181.U5 P65 2000.
This chapter is an autobiographical account by Sheila Tobias, a
Radcliffe graduate, who worked as an assistant to the vice president
of Cornell and organized the 1969 Intersession Program on Women.
She describes the political atmosphere at Cornell, planning for
the conference, and the development of the first womens studies
course, The Evolution of Female Personality: Its History and Prospects.
Tobias touches on the subject of female underemployment and discrimination
within the university and describes how the College of Home Economics
and Human Ecology came to house the conference and course.
Walsh, Margaret. The Democratization of Fashion: The Emergence
of the Women's Dress Pattern Industry. The Journal of American
History 66 (1979): 299-313.
ILR Library (Ives Hall) and Olin Library - call number F351.M675.
Uris Library - call number F351.M67.
Walsh documents the emergence of the paper pattern industry and
explores the broad national and historical impact of the industry
on fashion and home sewing in America. She describes the beginning
of the ready-to-wear market and the democratization of American
and European style through home sewing based on mail order patterns.
She also provides background about the major pattern houses of the
late nineteenth century, many of which still exist today.