New York: D. Appleton, 1899. First edition. International Education Series, edited by W.T. Harris, No. 45. Eleven full-page illustrations and two figures in text. Slight rubbing to binding extremities, front inner hinge cracking, but sound. A very good, remarkably bright copy. Publisher's dark green cloth, decoratively stamped in black and red. Octavo. , xviii, , 311, [1, blank], [2, ads] pp. Item #16834
Susan Blow (1843-1916) was a kindergarten teacher. The daughter of diplomat and congressman Henry Taylor Blow (1817-1875), she was born in St. Louis, but lived for a time in Brazil and traveled in Europe with her family as a child. In Germany she encountered the work of Friedrich Froebel. The DAB notes: "A complete surrender to the mysticism and symbolism of Froebel's philosophy was the natural outcome of prolonged study of Hegel, Schelling, Fichte, and Kant, a close association with the transcendental philosophy of the Concord School, and the influence and support of Dr. William T. Harris, superintendent of schools in St. Louis and an able exponent of German idealism." She opened the first public school kindergarten in America in 1873 and the following year founded a training school for kindergarten teachers, also the first of its kind in America. She lectured extensively on the kindergarten and held a high position in the International Kindergarten Union. She wrote five books for the International Education Series, including a translation of Froebel's Mother Play. "The social significance of her work must not be underestimated…for her belief in the Gliedganzes or member-whole of Froebel's philosophy found expression in many pragmatic, coreelated education activities of social significance.. She gave hearty support and direction to mothers' meetings, home visitation, school gardens, and nature study…The training which she offered was build upon a broad cultural background, awakening in her students an intellectual curiosity and a recognition of fundamental spiritual values which gave permanence and direction to the kindergarten as an educational institution" (DAB).
The Book of Women's Firsts, p. 57. Timelines of American Women's History, p. 177.