The Collective Picture

Vintage Photography Redefined

admin On June - 30 - 2009

This post is about those all import skills of domestic life that have defined the educational paths of so many young woman throughout history. Bellow are some images showing such training and demonstrations, documenting the different skills and techniques of various time periods. Given the importance of cooking in any family and the females traditional role guarding this hearth these images provide a look at a central component of domestic life and the process through which woman have historically acquired and passed on such knowhow. Family cookbooks are another interesting time capsule into the world of domestic training. “The Settlement Cookbook” that was first published in 1901, for example, continues to place on its first page “the way to a man’s heart” even in the 1965 edition that my family has. These training manuals don’t just offer recipes though, they talk about edict and household planning, describing in detail how to organize ones life. Looking through these books helps to give a sense of the discussions that must have occurred in the training rooms that are depicted bellow, as woman were taught the central components that defined their roles in the family and society at large.

1899-1900. Cooking class. Hampton InstituteBetween 1899 and 1900. ‘Ten Afro-American women in cooking class at Hampton Institute, Hampton, Va.’ Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b41274
1899.elementary school cooking classCirca 1899. Classroom scene in Washington, D.C. elementary school – cooking class. Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b19221
1901. Carlisle. Indian Cooking Class
1901. Carlisle Indian School, Carlisle, Pa. Cooking class. Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA1906.Ladies College Cooking Class
Aug. 1906. Cooking class, Ladies College. Credit: William James Topley/Library and Archives Canada/PA-042227
Restrictions on use: Nil
Copyright: Expired1908. electric cooking
c1908 Dec. 26. Gene and her friend using General Electric Heating and Cooking Devices: young woman heating food in an electric, silver?, serving dish. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b02386
1916.dietician class
c 1916. The dietician is instructing a class of probationers in the diet kitchen of the nurses’ residence at the Hospital for Sick Children. Credit: Library and Archives Canada /PA-800284
Restrictions on use: nil
Copyright: Expired1921. Demonstrating canning
1921 October 13. A “Demonstration team” composed of three prize-winning Cabell County girls. They are showing the visitors at the Fair how team work makes for efficiency in canning their farm products. State 4 H. Fair, Charleston, W. Va. Location: Charleston, West Virginia / Photo by Lewis W. Hine. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.1935.high school cooking class
1935. Cooking class, Bethesda, Chevy Chase High School, Gift; Herbert A. French; 1947. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.28278Tokyo Cooking Class
[no date recorded on caption card] Cooking Class – Tokyo. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.38154

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