Home Economics class portfolio, household accounting and textiles
Two-ring flexible fiberboard covers with cloth-lined spine, 9 x 11 inches. Many of the outer pages are torn at the hole punches, but still sit neatly in place. Around 100 total leaves, including 5 panels of paper weaving and 4 mounted sewing examples. The book was completed by Ruth Slabach, who graduated from East Cocalico Vocational School in 1931. The notebook reflects a dutiful appraisal of typical home planning concerns related to space, cost, and functionality. It contains the usual interior planning collages and budgets--even including a category for benevolence--but ultimately gives a more holistic guide that incorporates the intangible aspects of domestic life. The book begins with an outline of "House Planning," which lists "Sympathy and understanding" as the second main point, followed by "Cooperation," which outlines the roles of mothers and fathers, accounting for the woman's invisible labor and emotional responsibilities in maintaining a home. Reflective of its Depression-era origins, the finance section incorporates the potential for children as money-earners, and the acceptable circumstances of that labor. Although these topics aren't covered in depth, their inclusion is significant.
The thorough treatment is continued in the textiles section, which begins with a comparison chart of fibers, including drawings of their microscopic appearance. 5 panels of paper weaving, each illustrating two patterns of textile weaves; 8 pages with fabric swatches arranged by material (cottons, linens, wools); and a sewing section with 7 illustrated pages on working with patterns and 4 sewing examples pinned to each of the final pages (bias binding, bias facing, shaped facing, and buttonhole). A particularly meaty example of such a home economics portfolio.