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"Deerfield Academy Cooking Class Entertains"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Although women were allowed nearly equal access to public education in Massachusetts as early as the 1830s, there remained a distinct difference in the skills taught well into the 20th century. Schools were expected to teach girls the things they would need as wives and mothers, rather than as equal working members of society. The central point for this education were classes that became collectively known as "home economics." Here, the cooking class - composed entirely of young women - cooked a meal for "teachers and boys of the upper classes." The first group was privileged by its status, but the second primarily by their sex. On the other hand, the group was entertained by a "farce" put on by their teachers.
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