Helen Canon (1888 - 1954) came to Cornell in 1915 to assist
Martha Van Rensselaer and Flora Rose with reading courses designed
for New York State farm homemakers. Canon received her B.A. from
Colorado College in 1911 and a B.S. from Teachers College, Columbia
University in 1915. At Cornell, she began as an extension instructor
in home economics, and after World War I, became an extension
professor and the associate state leader of home demonstration
agents. In 1928, she received her M.S. in Consumer Economics from
Cornell. That same year, she made the first home survey designed
to obtain budget information from farm families about how they
spent their resources. In 1930, Canon received her Ph.D. from
Cornell and was appointed the first head of the Department of
Economics of the Household and Household Management, a position
she held from 1930 until her retirement in 1952. Flora Rose said
of Canon, "[She had a] goal whose objective was to give to women
increased understanding of the importance of the economic structure
of society and their significance as consumers and homemakers
to [society's] welfare." During her long career at Cornell, Canon
taught a variety of courses in the area of consumer economics
including "Management of Individual Resources for Financial Security,"
"Economic Problems of the Household," and "Economic Conditions
in Relation to the Welfare of Families." In addition, she wrote
for the public, including leaflets during World War I and her
Home Account Book (1951).
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of Rare & Manuscript Collections
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Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853.
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