Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, November 22, 1908, HALF-TONE SECTION, Image 17

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    The Omaha Sunday Bee
Lars at Circulation
Best A". West
Woman and Her Advanced Work Will Form a Large Part in the School of Agricultural . Education at the National Corn Exposition at the Auditorium
IF DISEMBODIED spirits ever return to earth for fair or fell pur
poses the wraiths of two women already famed, but destined
to be letter known to later generations for an accomplishment
only Just beginning to be appreciated, will surely haunt the
Model Kitchen department of the National Corn exposition to
be held In On aha next month. But be that as It may, If Harriet
Hecher Stowe and her sister, Catherine Beecher, were alive today
they would certainly rejoice as no others could over what they
would find there.
In a equipped section of a specially constructed building
In the gniip surrounding the Auditorium that is to house the Corn
t how provision la being made for a department the like of which has
neor before been Incorporated In an exposition. It Is to be known
;ih the Model Kitchen Beition, but Its scope extends over a vastly
wider Held than that suggested by the name. It is to be a school of
iJoiiKstlc science- and practically all the things that pertain to house
hold economics will receive consideration. And It will not be a mere
smattering that will be given out here. The section Is In charge of
Miss Jessica Besack of Iowa State College of Agriculture and she
will be assisted by a stall of lecturers from the State universities of
. iil.lgan. Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado,
l esl.'os other experts, Including Mrs. Nellie Kedzie Jones and Mrs.
Mar-aret Blair. Never before has such a gathering .of experts as-
nrn bled in tne interest 01 nome-maKins auu iuo (iivgmm iui mc
will offt r will embrace the essentials of the courses that extend over
a term of many weoks In the colleges and universities that Include
domestic science In their curriculum; it will be a short course such
as has never been offered before. '
A cooking laboratory, which is to be a model of its kind, will be
equipped for a class of sixty and provision will be made for three
classes each day if there is demand for it The laboratory wlU be
open only to young women between 17 and 21 years of age, but the
lecture course will be available to all women who wish to take ad
vantage of it. The two combined embrace many special1 features
not commonly available, including Milling and Chemical Analysis of
Grains, Grading and Baking Tests of Flour, Comparison of Nutritive
Value of Cereals; Meat demonstrations, Including Anatomy of Ani
mals and 'the Location and Value of Cuts of Meat Thee will be
lectures on "Food Principles," "Physic of Bread-Making," "Chemis
try in the Kitchen," "Bacteriology," "Fermentation," "Setting the
Table and Serving," "Personal Hygiene," "Textiles," "Drafting."
"Home Decoration," "Domestio Art," "Labor-Saving Devices and
Principles of Home Sanitation." Pictures and charts wUl be used
in illustration of the lectures.
Small Laboratory Fee
A laboratory fee of but $2.50 will be ch d in addition to the
regular season exposition ticket, the same f' being made for the
lecture course. That these privileges ma be extended in directions
where they will perhaps be most appreciated the farmers' institutes,
or their women's auxiliaries, and the county superintendents of the
states of the middle west have been invited to select young women
from their respective communities as delegates to the Model Kitchen.
Provision will also be made for a limited number of young women
from Omaha, these to be admitted upon application.
Perhaps our grandmothers would have smiled and not too in
dulgently, either, at such elaborate preparation of a girl for home
making, but times have changed since the good old days when
grandmother prepared her simple, though abundant and wholesome
meal from the good, pure products of grandfather's farm; spun and
wove her own textiles and ordered her household after the simple
demands of an age that would have "stood aghast at' the intricacies
that are everyday matters with the men and women, and even the
itixlldren of the present generation. In these days life is too full for
rae young housekeeper to learn by experience along the long road
her mother and grandmother traveled. She must go to school, and
when the grammar and high school are finished, if she is not privil
ege 1 to go away to college, she goes into business. She has little
or r.o part In the work of the home, for when her school and business
hours are over she must have recreation, or rest, or both.
Scionce and art contribute equally to the idetl home of today, and
neither Is a success without the other. The school of domestio sci
ence supplements the college course and the business career and
makes its graduates the best all around women that we have. It
teaches women that successful housekeeping is a matter of Intelli
gence and that anyone can bake good bread, cook good meals and
succesc fully combat the majority of the artificial conditions that
enter so largely Into every department of life today. The domestio
science graduate knows all about proper food balances, nutrition of
foods and Invalid cookery. Whether she be called upon to provide
for the Infant or the invalid, the aged or the athlete, she knows
what to provide and how to prepare It. And, further, she knows
how to guard against the evils resulting from adulterations that en
ter into practically everything she has to use; she knows the value
of puie, fresh air and cleanliness and she knows, too, how to meet
the mrny, many other things that enter into the Ufa of the home
maker, because she has been trained in the why of doing as well as
in the how.
Knows the Aesthetic Side
.' n 1 the is equally proficient In the aesthetic branches of house
kee; rs. She appreciates the value of comfort and consistency and
Ehe dees not overload her living rooms with cushions too elaborate
for use, furniture too fine for the children to touch, and much less
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sit npon; and wall paper and carpets In which every color of the
rainbow clashes and Jars in a discord that fairly shatters one's ner
vous system. Harmony Is the keynote of her household and it pre
vails In the furnishing, no matter how simple they may be; in the
serving of ber meals, whether she keeps three servants or none, and
in an atmosphere Impossible to define, but that all must feel who
come within her doors. These are the possibilities of the school of
domestio science, but the degree of proficiency that its pupils attain
lies wholly with the individual.
If material Inducements will serve to stimulate the young women
who will enjoy the privileges of the Corn exposition's Model Kicchen
wonderful results should be expected, for the exposition management
has provided a prize list proportionate in its generosity with the
other things offered. Ranges, sewing machines, gold watches, sev
eral collections of books, a fine violin and its case, carving sets, an '
assortment of enamel kitchen ware and a scor of other things ap
pear on the prize list to be awarded for the preparation of foods.
Any of these things are well worth the ten days' work independent
of the proficiency that must be acquired in order to win them.
Care for Young Women
Providing suitable entertainment for the young women who will
attend the laboratory during their stay in Omaha is necessarily an
important question, but this, too, the exposition authorities have met
and solved admirably. An advisory board has been appointed, in
cluding nine prominent women of Nebraska and Iowa, of which Mrs.
George Sheldon, wife of Governor Sheldon, is chairman. The other
members are Mrs. Henry H. Van Brunt of Council Bluffs, Mrs. G.
W. Wattles, wife of President Wattles of the exposition; Mrs. George
Tilden, vice president of the Omaha Young Women's Christian asso
ciation; Mrs. H. H. Baldrige, Mrs. Ella Squires, Mrs. Arthur D.
Brandels, all of Omaha; Mrs. W. C. Lambert of South Omaha and
Mrs. Bertha V. Thompson of Newport, Neb. These women have ar
ranged for lodging and chaperonage that must meet the approval of
any parent and also insure a pleasant as well as a safe visit for the
young women.
To this women's advisory board has also been left many of the
other details so Important in providing for such an enterprise as
the Corn exposition. The Young Women's Christian association of
Omaha has volunteered its assistance and will detail special secre
taries to chaperone the visiting girls. It has also engaged lodgings
In some of the best homes of the city for the free entertainment of
a limited number. The Sisters of Mercy will also help and will
reopen their convent at Eighteenth and Cass streets, the old St.
Catherine's academy, where a dormitory with sisters in charge will
be maintained. This entertainment will cost the yeung women noth
ing. Chaperones will also be provided for any other entertainment
that may be extended the girls.
To Harriet Beecher Stowe and Catherine Beecher domestic sci
ence Is really beholden for Its very inception. They first broke
ground, sowed the seed and through long and soul-wearying years
cultivated the tender shoots which have at length developed into
sturdy trees holding beads as high and as proudly as older growths
In the grove of science. Mrs. Stowe, famous as the authoi of "Uncle
Tom's . Cabin," and her sister, if they could return In the
flesh, would be most gratified that the first national exposition to
recognize domestic science as this exposition has done should be held
in the west.
For It was in the west that they met with their first success in
this work and, besides this, it was in the west, where years later the
work, given greater encouragement, flowered until domestic science
schools, or at least domestic science currlculums, are established in
thirty-three universities and colleges, while of lecture courses at
farmers' institutes and of private schools there is no end.
It was in Cincinnati, In the year 1840, that Harriet and Cather
ine Beecher first broke ground. In the seminary for young women
young "ladles" was still the popular term at that date in this
school founded by them, the first systematic instruction, the first in
struction, in fact, in a school. In domestio science was given.
This fact is generally known. What is not of such common knowl
edge, however, is that Catherine Beecher, a decade later, founded
another seminary in Dubuque, la., and there, also, young women
were taught a few practical things. This seminary did not flourish
because a boom met the usual end of booms and residents could
neither send their daughters nor even meet pledges of financial as
sistance which they had made.
Soon after this date Catherine Beecher published a volume widely
known as a "cook book." It did Include recipes, but it was a much
more ambitious attempt than the popular name indicates. Its formal
title was "A Treatise on Domestic Economy."
The table of contents of this book is most interesting. It begins
with a chapter on "The Peculiar Responsibilities of American
Women;" this is followed by chapters on "healthful food, clothing,
cleanliness, domestic manners, care of Infants and construction of
houses." A fitting climax is reached in the final chapters, named
"Miscellaneous Directions," in which the care 6f a cow, the comfort
of guests, smoky chimneys, flower baskets and waterproof shoes are
Iowa is Its Pioneer
Although the Dubuque school was ill-starred, yet to the state of
Iowa belongs the honor of the first large and successful instruction
In domestic science. The Iowa State College of Agriculture opened
its doors at Ames March 7, 1869. From the first instruction of
young women In household branches was established as an Integral
part of the curriculum. The matron of the girls' domltory was also
stewardess and she worked her disciples two hours every day in
kitchen, pantry or dining room. The presence of young women in
the college at Ames is also of moment when the history of education
of women is considered with reference to co-education, but this is
another theme.
In 1875 the trustees of the college arranged to have courses be
gin in cooking and household arts, but these lectures were given to
Junior girls only. In 1880 a kitchen for class room work was estab
lished as an entirely separate institution from the kitchens where
regular meals for students were prepared. In 1884 courses ta sew
ing and laundry work were added and previous branches elaborated.
Today domestio science instruction has grown to proportions
unwieldy with facilities considered and to meet the demands new
buildings are imperative
Kansas followed Iowa's lead in 1873 at the Agricultural college
at Manhattan. It is worthy of passing note that it is In the agricul
tural colleges that the roots of this tree of knowledge have sunk the
deepest to a depth. In fact, which makes uprooting impossible, a
consummation, however, devoutly not desired by amyone.
Activity at the Kansas college did not become strenuous until the
winter of 1875-76, when Prof. Kedzie, an eminent chemist, was re
tained to give a course of lectures on foods. The next year a kitchen
laboratory was fitted up and in 18S2 Miss Nellie Kedzie, now Mrs.
Kedzie-Jones, took general charge of the department of domestio
science. Mrs. Jones has since retired, but still retains an active in
terest in the work and will be one of the speakers at the National
Corn exposition. On account of her long-held eminence her address
will be heard with more than ordinary interest.
First Work in These States
. The pioneer work was really done in these two states. Like all
innovations, domestic science had to struggle against the prejudices
of the ignorant, the Jokes and sneers of the flippant and the active
hostility of those -$enlghted persons opposed to the education of
women at all, and this in spite of the fact that in an a priori way one
would have supposed that these disciples of the "Kirche-Kuchen-Kinder"
theory would have favored teaching possible wives and
mothers how to prepare foodstuffs intelligently. Possibly there Is
no cooking nowadays of the kind "mother used to make." The joke
la worn threadbare, but let It be Incidentally remembered that
"mother" did not have to deal with the hundred and one adultera
tions which menace cooks in this day and age. Catherine Beecher
and her sister would be the first to admit that in tho course of time
problems undreamed of in their halcyon time have since arisen.
Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois and other mid-western states were
later than Iowa and Kansas In entering the field, but they have made
up for lost time and Nebraska at least now has unexcelled facilities
for teaching domettlc science. The building for the purpose Is In
fact one of the campus structures to which the undergraduate points
with pride when he is towing a burdensome relative.
If visitors to the National Corn exposition gain an adequate idea
of the extent and purpose of domestic science instruction and those
of ordinary intelligence cannot fail to chief credit for this wl'.l be
due to Miss Jessica Besack, who has been in charge of the Model
Kitchen. Miss Besack Is an Ames woman and her case has proven
the exception to the rule that "a prophet is not without honor save
in his own country," for In the current issue of the Iowa Agricultur
ist, published at the college, occurs the following passage:
"We are honored to announce that the Model Kitchen depart
ment at the National Corn exposition which is to be held in Omaha
December 9 to 19 is to be conducted by our domestic science editor,
Miss Jessica Besack. It is claimed that she knows how to prepare
corn for human consumption in 301 ways. Be this so or not, we
know you will find her ready to tell you all she knows about the
preparation of corn and Us by-products for the table."
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