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Home Ec Flashback

teen homemaker cover

Teen Guide to Homemaking
Brinkley, Chamberlin, Champion

This could have been my high school text for home ec and the pictures could have come straight from my high school yearbook. All that is missing is a soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever.  Just to give some context, microwaves were still pretty new at this time and this text doesn’t even mention them. The featured picture below talks about self-cleaning ovens and self-defrosting freezers, which constituted some seriously fancy features.

I swear, none of this seems “that” long ago in my head. Excuse my age crisis, but younger staff members/patrons have often said something like, “Ask Mary, she is old enough to remember… (insert anything “old” like a typewriter, presidents before Reagan, etc)”

Not that old (really),


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Secrets from the Homemakers

Guide to Successful Homemaking coverGood Housekeeping’s
Guide To Successful Homemaking

How about some modern housekeeping tips? This behemoth of a book would probably require a staff of hundreds to execute all the suggestions and “rules” contained. I was exhausted just reading some pages of tips. I would imagine that D-Day planning was less complicated. Of course it is outdated for obvious reasons, but I would buy a modern version of this in a heartbeat, if it was all short cuts and didn’t set the bar so high for a “good” home. This book reminds me of a Godey’s Lady’s Book for the “modern” age.

Ladies, I would take special notice of how to wear/buy a hat and bra. (I am now reviewing my own expectations of a bra and wondering if they could help my breasts move back to where they lived in 1978.)


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Sidetracked Home Executives

Sidetracked Home Executives coverSidetracked Home Executives
Young and Jones

Submitter: This one came to us as a donation, but a quick check of our system finds that one library still has it on their shelves and another library has the 2001 “Rev. and updated ed.” I love that it is trademarked.

Holly: I hope the 2001 edition was completely revised and updated. Like, redone, basically. The sample page that Submitter included below is funny. “You always have film in your camera!” “You have a hanky in your purse!” “When it says DON’T BLEACH, you don’t!” (Show me someone who DOES bleach when they SHOULD!) Household tip books will always be useful in a public library, but let’s be honest; the genius that is Pinterest can replace this book any day.  Let’s hope that poor Peggy and Pam have gotten organized and have a hot dinner on their husbands’ plates when he gets home from work (see back cover, below). As for me, I’m going to load up my Pinterest board and just pretend I’m inspired.

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