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Apron Strings and Kitchen Sinks: The USDA Bureau of Home Economics

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This digital exhibit from the National Agricultural Library highlights the work of the USDA Bureau of Home Economics, which was in existence from 1923 to 1962. Readers will also find a bit of pre-history of the Bureau, beginning with the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 that established a system of cooperative extension offices connected to land grant universities as a way to improve agricultural practices and technologies. The Bureau of Home Economics was the first major unit of the federal government to be headed by a woman: Louise Stanley. Stanley was bureau chief from 1923 to 1943, succeeded in 1943 by nutrition researcher Henry Clapp Sherman as the Bureau's name was changed to the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics. This change reflected a more intense focus on nutrition as part of the war effort. In 1944, Hazel Katherine Stiebeling, a home economist and nutrition researcher, became chief. This exhibition is comprised of five exhibits that reflect the work of the Bureau and highlight its publications. For example, see Sewing and Pattern Design for an assortment of women's work clothes patterns, including many aprons designs. There is also an accompanying timeline.
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2017-02-03
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