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Some words on Home Economics

"Home Economics stands for the ideal home life for today unhampered by the traditions of the past [ and] the utilization of all the resources of modern science to improve home life."

Ellen Swallow Richards (1904)
Instructor in Sanitary Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Founder of the Home Economics Movement

"The department of home economics was organized to train a woman in efficiency and to develop her outlook to life. Such a department is a necessity as a means of developing a society. It stands for the evolution of women’s work and place."

Liberty Hyde Bailey (1911)
Dean, New York State College of Agriculture

"Home economics should find its way into the curriculum of every school because the scientific study of a problem pertaining to food, shelter or clothing… raises manual labor that might be drudgery to the plane of intelligent effort that is always self-respecting…Home economics is not one department, in the sense in which dairying or entomology or soils is a department. It is not a single speciality… Many technical and educational departments will grow out of it as time goes on."

Martha Van Rensselaer (1913)
Professor of Home Economics and Co-Director of the New York State College of Home Economics

" The material benefits [of home economics] have been many and practical especially the lifting of the monotonous tasks of every day into a science with a sure foundation…The contact with the clean, quick thinking minds embodied in the charming, loveable women who have come to us from the state college has been a privilege… The call to leadership in my own community has given me a certain self-confidence… I have lost all fear of my own voice speaking in public."

Mrs. Carl E. Hood (1923)
Homemaker, Ballston Lake, NY

"From the broad view of intelligent statecraft, the state will find an education in home economics a tool of the utmost importance in building up forces which increase physical well-being of the population and which make for a reduction in the number of persons thrown back to the state for support by reason of physical, mental, or moral failure."

Albert R, Mann (1930)
Dean, New York State College of Agriculture

"Home-making today should have a background of scientific training because only in this way can real efficiency be achieved. The average girl wants to be able to keep her house with the least possible strain, and in order to do this she must have good training. This can best be achieved by taking a good course in home economics."

Eleanor Roosevelt (l933)
First Lady and Social Reformer



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