Selling Mrs. Consumer: Christine Frederick and the Rise of by Janice Williams Rutherford

By Janice Williams Rutherford

This first book-length therapy of the lifestyles and paintings of Christine Frederick (1883-1970) finds a tremendous trouble that confronted expert girls of the early 20th century. opposite to her expert position as domestic potency specialist, advertisements advisor, and customer suggest, Christine Frederick espoused the nineteenth-century excellent of retaining the virtuous home--and a woman's position in it. in order to reconcile her wish to achieve the general public sphere of modernization and consumerism with the data that the majority middle-class american citizens nonetheless held conventional ideals approximately gender roles, Frederick shaped a profession for herself that inspired different girls to stay at home.

With the increase of domestic economics and medical administration, Frederick--college-educated yet restrained to the drudgery of housework--devised a plan for bringing the general public sphere into the household. Her domestic may develop into her manufacturing facility. She realized find out how to standardize initiatives by way of watching labor-saving units in after which utilized this information to housekeeping. She standardized dishwashing, for instance, by means of breaking the task into 3 separate operations: scraping and stacking, washing, and drying and placing away. decided to coach ladies to turn into informed homemakers and effective managers, Frederick secured a role writing articles for the girls' domestic magazine . a qualified occupation as domestic potency professional later multiplied to incorporate advertisements advisor and client suggest. Frederick guaranteed male advertisers that she knew girls good and promised to assist them promote to ''Mrs. Consumer.''

While Frederick sought the facility and impact to be had simply to males, she promoted a department of work via gender and accordingly served the autumn of the early-twentieth-century wave of feminism. Rutherford's attractive account of Christine Frederick's lifestyles displays a hindrance that keeps to impact girls today--whether to hunt specialist gratification or adhere to standard relations values.

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Additional resources for Selling Mrs. Consumer: Christine Frederick and the Rise of Household Efficiency

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By the time the wedding took place, J. George had already relocated to New York City, and an apartment at 1008 Simpson Street in the Bronx awaited the young couple. J. 4 The Fredericks' Simpson Street flat was located in a ten-family 25 20 • Selling jtyfrs. 5 When the newlyweds settled into their new home in October, Christine became a full-time homemaker. She could not have resumed her fledgling teaching career even if she had wished to do so. 6 In September 1908, nine months after the Fredericks moved into their Bronx apartment, their first child, David Mansfield, was born.

51 In 1915, the Ladies' Home Journal suggested that marriage was far more fulfilling than a career could be. 52 As in the nineteenth century, however, women of the working class worked outside the home out of necessity. At the turn of the century, 32 * Selling ^ïCrs. 53 As Christine labored in her Bronx apartment, the women's movement to gain the vote was moving into its final decade. 58 Several neighbor women were active suffragists, and Christine later claimed that she had marched with the "suffragettes," but her daughter has no recollection of her mother taking any part in the suffrage movement.

George, on the other hand, was on the move in the exhilarating new field of advertising. The dichotomy was striking; he might have been reflecting his own feelings when he had his fictional character's admirer say: "She came from another world than mine—she had a college education and I hadn't; she came from cultivated, artistic people and I came from a farm where six or seven books were thought to be about all anybody ought to fritter away time reading. "11 J. George had grown up among Germans who were known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch" in Reading, eldest son among the ten living children his parents reared.

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