Autry, Mary. “Little Helpers In Home Management.” The Progressive Farmer Mar. 1938.
“Little Helpers in Home Management” is an article published in The Progressive Farmer, and was found in the Carol Shepard Price Home Economics Teaching Materials box in the Hoole Special Collections Library, in the folder “House-Furniture 1632.0002/21.” This piece discusses DIY fixes to
give your kitchen a “facelift.” Autry includes tips on how to wash painted walls, such as washing only a section at a time. There’s also a segment about brightening up rooms by using cheerful colors like yellow and light fabrics. The final section is on choosing wallpaper. Vertical stripes make ceilings look higher and color palettes can alter the brightness of a room.
This is an interesting resource because it seems less focused on frugality than I would expect a homemaking article from the Great Depression to be. While the ideas are DIY, wallpaper as well as paint and curtains cost money, money many people didn’t have in 1938. The only suggestion in this article that was truly frugal was the instruction for washing painted walls. This would allow a homemaker to feel proud of her space without spending money. For myself, this information is likely useful. My great-grandmother had her first child in 1931, and would spend the Great Depression raising children and maintaining a home. If one wanted to study frugal homemaking tips in relation to the Great Depression, this article would be useful but likely not reflective of the majority of the population due to the sheer cost of the tips suggested. Autry’s article seems out of touch with the everyday woman, and likely targeted women that were upper middle or upper class.