Jamestown Sun: Gaining expertise in domestic sciences in Jamestown

The Women’s Club of Jamestown dedicated a spring Saturday in 1914 to taking lessons in the “domestic sciences”. It seemed more like a review of the tasks they already performed in their daily lives. The club members spent the day revisiting the domestic science curriculum taught at Jamestown High School, with the more experienced women possibly passing down their expertise to the younger generation. In 1910, domestic science encompassed topics such as bacteriology for cleanliness, physiology for understanding food and its effects on health, and physics for managing home heating and lighting. The Jamestown Alert highlighted the importance of a woman’s personal efficiency in running a household.

The day concluded with the ladies being served a meal prepared by high school students in the domestic science class. Despite the generation gap, there was no indication of any belittlement towards the students’ skills by the Women’s Club members. It’s possible that there were moments where a club member thought about doing things differently, but overall, it seemed like the women were aiming to pass on their knowledge and efficiency to the next line of homemakers.

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By Samantha Robertson

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