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The History of Household Technology with Constance Carter

woman mixing batter in a bowl with washtub behind herMeet Constance Carter, Head, Science Reference Section, Science, Technology & Business Division, Library of Congress.

Constance Carter, Head of the Science Reference Section at the Library of Congress, describes the evolution in the technology of washing machines, irons, and stoves and its effect on the work of women in the home.

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Library of Congress Web Sites of Interest
American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States
In index, see housekeeping, cookery, and domestic life.
Library of Congress Online Catalog
To search for materials on the history of household technology, select Basic Search, then Command Keyword. Helpful search phrases are home economics and history; or housewives and history; or household appliances and history; or household technology or domestic technology.
Science Tracer Bullets Online: History of Household Technology
Women Pioneers of the Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920: Domestic Life
Special Presentation on Fred Hulstrand: Settling the Land in the American Memory collection The Northern Great Plains: 1880-1920.
Other Web Sites of Interest
American Women's History: A Research Guide: Homemaking and Home Economics
A bibliography of books, archives, manuscripts, and digital collections compiled by Ken Middleton at Middle Tennessee State University Library.
Hearth: A Core Electronic Collection of Books and Journals in Home Economics and Related Disciplines Published Between 1850 and 1950
From the Mann Library, Cornell University.
North American Women's Letters and Diaries: Colonial to 1950
Includes the immediate experiences of 1,325 women and 150,00 pages of diaries and letters.
Other Materials of Interest

Print Sources on Household Technology: Primary Sources

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. 2 v. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1870.
    LC call number: PZ7.A335 Li2

Balderston, L. Ray. Lippincott's Home Manuals, Housewifery. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., c1924.
    LC call number: TX145.B3 1924

Barrett, John Patrick. Electricity at the Columbian Exposition. Chicago: R. R. Donnelley & Sons, 1894.
    LC call number: TK6 1893

Beecher, Catharine, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. American Woman's Home, or, Principles of Domestic Science: Being a Guide to the Formation and Maintenance of Economical, Healthful, Beautiful, and Christian Homes. New York: J. B. Ford and Co.; Boston, H. A. Brown, etc., 1869.
    LC call number: TX145.B415 1869

Campbell, Helen. The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking. Rev. ed. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1893.
    LC call number: TX145.C18

Canada. Food Board. Fish Recipes. Montreal and Toronto: Herald Press and Advertising Agency, 1918.
    LC call number: TX747.C25

Doty's Clothes Washer, and Churn Power. New York: Press of Wynkoop & Hallenbeck, c1865.
    LC call number: TT999.D72

Ellsworth, Milon W. The Successful Housekeeper. A Manual of Universal Application, Especially Adapted to the Everyday Wants of American Housewives. Detroit, M.W. Ellsworth & Company, 1882.
    LC call number: TX715.E473

Farmer, Fannie Merritt. Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Rev. ed. Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1933.
    LC call number: TX715.F234 1933

__________. A New Book of Cookery. Boston: Little Brown, 1912.
   LC call number: TX715.F24

Frederick, Christine. Household Engineering; Scientific Management in the Home: A Correspondence Course on the Application of the Principles of Efficiency, Engineering and Scientific Management to the Every Day Tasks of Housekeeping. Chicago: American School of Home Economics, 1919.
    LC call number: TX145.F68

Hansey, Jennie A. Treasures Old and New, a Collection of Carefully Tested Household Recipes. Chicago: Laird & Lee Publishers, 1892.
    LC call number: TX153.H244

Hewitt, Emma. Queen of Home, Her Reign From Infancy to Age, From Attic to Cellar, Twelve Departments, Treating of Home Occupations. Philadelphia: Miller-Megee Company, 1889.
    LC call number: TT985.M3

Holt, Emily. The Complete Housekeeper. New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1904.
    LC call number: TX145.H76

Johnson, Alice A. The Household Companion. Philadelphia: The Uplifting Publishing Co., c1909.
    LC call number: TX158.J65

Marsh, E.L. Laundry Work in Theory and Practice. London: Longmans, Green & Co.,1914.
    LC call number: TT985.M3S

Murphy, Bessie R., ed. Corn Meal for Breakfast, Dinner, Supper. Chicago: Rand, McNally, c1920.
    LC call number: TX809.M2M85

Nida, Stella Humphrey. Letters of Polly, the Pioneer. New York: Macmillan, 1916.
    LC call number: E179.N66

Orr, Painter & Co. Catalogue no. 31: Sunshine Stoves, Ranges, Furnaces, Othello Ranges, Open Fire Grates, Hollow-Ware, etc. Reading, Pa.: 1897.
    LC call number: TS425.O75 1897

Powell, Ola. Lippincott's Home Manuals, Successful Canning and Preserving. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., c1919.
    LC call number: TX601.M3 1919

Thornton, Anna Maria Brodeau. Papers of Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton, 1793-1861. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
    LC call number MMC-3412

United States. Patent Office. The Growth of Industrial Art. 2 v. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1884.
    LC call number: T15.U6 1884

Vail, Mary Beals. Approved Methods for Home Laundering. Cincinnati: Procter & Gamble Co., 1906.
    LC call number: TT935.V2

Varney, Almon Clother. Our Homes and Their Adornments. Detroit: J. C. Chilton & Co., 1884.
    LC call number: TX145.V3 1884

Wetenhall, Louise. Practical Laundry Work for Home and School. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1915.
    LC call number: TT985.W45

Wilcox, Estelle Woods, comp. Practical Housekeeping: A Careful Compilation of Tried and Approved Recipes. Minneapolis: Buckeye Publishing Co., 1886.
    LC call number: TX715.W663 1886

Wright, Elizabeth Steele. Papers of Elizabeth Steele Wright, 1846-1912. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
    LC call number: MMC-3337

Print Sources on Household Technology: Secondary Sources

Brewer, Priscilla J. From Fireplace to Cookstove: Technology and the Domestic Ideal in America. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 2000. Bibliography: p.303-24.
    LC call number: GT425.U5B74 2000

__________. "'We have got a very good cooking stove': Advertising, Design, and Consumer Response to the Cookstove, 1815-1880". Winterthur Portfolio 25 (Spring 1999): 35-54.
    LC call number: N9.W52

Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave. New York: Basic Books, c1983. Bibliographic essays: p. 220-233. Notes: p. 234-249.
    LC call number: TX23.C64 1983

Du Vall, Nell. I. Domestic Technology: A Chronology of Developments. Boston: G. K. Hall, c1988. Includes bibliographical references.
    LC call number: TX15.D8 1988

Fox, Bonnie J. "Selling the Mechanized Household: 70 Years of Ads in Ladies' Home Journal". Gender & Society 4 (March 1990): 25-40.
    LC call number: HQ1075.G457

Leavitt, Sarah Abigail. From Catharine Beecher to Martha Stewart: A Cultural History of Domestic Advice. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c2002. Bibliography: p. 229-244.
    LC call number: TX15.L43 2002

Motz, Marilyn Ferris, and Pat Browne, eds. Making the American Home: Middle-Class Women and Domestic Material Culture, 1840-1940. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, c1988. Includes bibliographical references.
    LC call number: TX23.M35 1988

Santiago, Chiori. "It All Comes Out in the Wash". Smithsonian 28 (Sept. 1997): 84-92.
    LC call number: AS30.S6

Schwartz, Ruth. "Less Work for Mother?" American Heritage 38 (Sept.-Oct. 1987): 68-76.
    LC call number: E171.A43

"Some Early History of Domestic Gas Appliances." American Gas Journal 140 (May 1934): 107-111, 153.
    LC call number: TP700.A5

Stanley, Autumn. Mothers and Daughters of Invention: Notes for a Revised History of Technology. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1993. Bibliography: p. 917-1041. See particularly "Labor-saving (domestic)": p. 455-65.
    LC call number: T36.S73 1993

Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York: Pantheon Books, c1982. "Source notes": p. 313-55.
    LC call number: TX23.S77 1982

Walker, Margaret F. "A Woman's Work Is Never Done: Or, The Dirt on Men and Their Laundry." Overland Journal 16 (Summer 1998): 4-13.
    LC call number: F593.0930

Walkley, Christina, and Vanda Foster. Crinolines and Crimping Irons: Victorian Clothes: How They Were Cleaned and Cared For. London, Owen, 1978. 199 p.
Bibliography: p. 188.
    LC call number: TT985.W23 1978


American Heritage.  LC call number: E171.A43
American Kitchen Magazine.  LC call number: TX1.E8
American Home.  LC call number: NA7100.A45
Boston Cooking-School Magazine of Culinary Science.  LC call number: TX1.A6
Country Life in America.  LC call number: S1.C85
Early American Life.  LC call number: E162.E214
Everyday Housekeeping.  LC call number: TX1.E8
Godey's Lady's Book.  LC call number: AP2.G56 <Rare bk coll>
Good Housekeeping.  LC call number: TX1.G75
Grand Rapids Furniture Record.  LC call number: TS840.G7
Hardware & Housewares.  LC call number: HD9745.U4 H3
Hardware.  LC call number: TS200.H8
Hardware Reporter.  LC call number: TS200.H87
Harper's Bazar.  LC call number: TT500.H3
Harper's Young People.  LC call number: AP201.H2
House and Garden.  LC call number: NA7100.H6
House Beautiful.  LC call number: NA7100.H65
House Furnishing Review.  LC call number: HF6201.H8H6
Housewares.  LC call number: HF6201.H8H6
Journal of Home Economics.  LC call number: TX1.J7
Ladies' Home Journal.  LC call number: Microfilm 05422 (1884-1907); Microfilm 06262 (1908-)
Saturday Evening Post.  LC call number: AP2.S2
Today's Housewife.  LC call number: TX.T6
Today's Magazine.  LC call number: TX1.T6
Winterthur Portfolio.  LC call number: N9.W52
Woman's Home Companion.  LC call number: AP2.W714
Woman's Magazine.  LC call number: TT500.W7
Woman's Weekly.  LC call number: AP2.W34
Woman's World.  LC call number: AP2.W74

Victorian Kitchens and Homes Open to the Public

Louisa May Alcott House, Concord, Massachusetts

Molly Brown House Museum, Denver, Colorado

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and House, Hartford, Connecticut

Merchants House Museum, New York, New York

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  July 20, 2010
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