Item #17586 The Woman Who Spends: A Study of Her Economic Function. With an introduction by Ellen H. Richards, A.M. Bertha June Richardson.
The Woman Who Spends: A Study of Her Economic Function. With an introduction by Ellen H. Richards, A.M.
The Woman Who Spends: A Study of Her Economic Function. With an introduction by Ellen H. Richards, A.M.

The Woman Who Spends: A Study of Her Economic Function. With an introduction by Ellen H. Richards, A.M.

Boston: Whitcomb & Barrows, 1916. Revised edition, third printing. The first edition was published in 1904 and the revised edition in 1910. This edition includes a chapter on money-saving strategies not present in the first. Faint marginal toning. Otherwise, a fine copy. Publisher’s red cloth. Octavo. 161 pp. Item #17586

In this book on the economic state of women in America, Bertha June Richardson (1878 – 1945) analyzes the impact of education, employment, technology, and home life on women’s financial stability and independence. Citing Mill and Ruskin, she discusses the aesthetic, social, and psychological value of women’s purchasing habits and the motivations that drive their spending. Both Lucas and Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842 – 1911), who wrote the introduction, stress the personal and social responsibilities conferred on women by their increasing economic power. Richardson, a writer and lecturer, graduated from Smith College in 1901. During World War I, she spent two years doing relief work with the Red Cross in Switzerland and France and served as the Director of Foreign Publicity for the American Red Cross. Her organizing efforts included roles in the San Francisco Emergency Peace Campaign, Pan-Pacific Women’s Association, San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association, and other women’s and pacifist organizations. The Children of France and the Red Cross (1918) is her only other published book.

Ellen H. Richards was an industrial engineer, environmental chemist, and MIT instructor. In 1873, she earned her B.S. from MIT and became the first woman to receive a degree from the school. It was largely Richards’ efforts, including her establishment of a women’s lab at MIT, that led to the equal admission of women beginning in 1883. Richards also undertook the first scientific study of America’s drinking water in 1887, and her survey of 40,000 samples of Massachusetts drinking water remains a benchmark in pollution studies. Richards, a pioneer in food science and home economics, worked to professionalize those fields. In the words of Sarah Stage in the ANB, “Under Richards’s leadership home economics moved beyond emphasis on the household arts of cooking and sewing to train women in scientific principles and develop careers for college-educated women in university teaching and institutional management.”.

Price: $150.00

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