Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The History of Home Economics -- Ida Marie Snorteland

A Home Economics class receiving instructions on cooking. Ottawa, Ontario, 1959.
Ida Marie Snorteland presented "The History of Home Economics" to an appreciative audience of the Spearfish Area Historical Society on Feb 7, 2017.  

The term "Home Economics" began as a government training program to improve the living conditions at home with emphasis on Science and common sense.

Home Eeconomics, now known as Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), is the field of study that deals with the economics and management of the home and community. 

One of the first to champion the economics of running a home was Catherine Beecher, sister to Harriet Beecher Stowe. Catherine and Harriet both were leaders in mid-19th century North America in talking about domestic science. 
The Morrill Act of 1862 propelled domestic science further ahead as land grant colleges sought to educate farm wives in running their households as their husbands were being educated in agricultural methods and processes. IowaKansasNebraskaIllinoisMinnesota and Michigan were early leaders offering programs for women. There were women graduates of these institutions several years before the Lake Placid Conferences which gave birth to the home economics movement.
Ida Marie took the group through the changes in time and changes in discplines of Home Economics, including:
  1 - science, technology, economics, mathematics
  2 - child development, housing, fashion merchandising, journalism, interior design, nutrition
  3 - gardening, sewing, water sanitation
  4 - entreprenuership, wellness
1993 New Name Family Consumer Sciences
  -- energy crisis, food insecurity, food deserts (cities where nurtritional food stores are not found in poor communities), again, sustainable farm agreculture