Girl Home-Makers of America

Sponsor: Daughters of the American Revolution

 

Launched in 1910 in Cleveland, OH, the Girl Home-Makers of America was the brain-child of Mrs. Elizabeth Neff. What developed into a 5 year program of how best to care for a home as well as become good citizens of America became an official part of the Daughters of the American Revolution's child improvement program in 1912. Mrs. Neff became the national chairman of the organization by 1914.

Originally planned as a way to teach domestic science to girls of all social levels, it evolved into a club structure to help immigrant children or children of immigrant parents who, Mrs. Neff thought, needed training in homemaking, citizenship and American ways.

The first classes were held in a settlement house called the Friendly Inn. According to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History (case.edu)...The (Friendly) Inn served recent immigrants with playgrounds and kindergartens, clubs for mothers, bathing facilities for men, and vocational training for boys. By 1907 a dispensary had been added. Each nationality had its own department, headed by someone who spoke the native language.

 

At first the title of the group was under question, as the term "home-maker" wasn't in the dictionary!

It seems that graduation meant the girl was ready for Girl Scouting!

World War II brought "Victory Menu" contests

"Homemaking" wasn't even in the dictionary when Mrs. Neff started her program

Older DAR pendant design

Aside from these two articles from 1942 & 1943, the Girl Home-Makers of America disappeared from newspapers by 1933.

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Last Updated June 14, 2020

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