Home Mechanics

[Term is used as early as 1886. Need to find out how it morphed into a sort of masculine version of "home economics". At some point in its history, woodworking for boys is an explicit component.]

[draft 1-24-07- following adapted from johnson and newkirk] In the FOREWORD to their 1953 book, Home Mechanics, William H. Johnson and Louis V. Newkirk write that it has been prepared for use in teaching home mechanics to boys and girls. The home-care jobs and projects have been carefully illustrated and the instructions written in step-by-step procedures. Questions have been provided to emphasize important learning concepts. Section below is an an adaptation of John and Newkirk's Foreword.

The objectives of Home Mechanics are to:

  1. give consumer knowledge and skill about selecting and using of the products that are a part of home living.
  2. develop handy-man abilities with the ordinary hand tools and a variety of construction materials.
  3. teach the use of handcraft for leisure-time activities in the home.
  4. contribute to the development of the personality of the child and to further the social objectives of general education. Home mechanics courses offer students opportunities to work as a member of a group or to assume responsibility for leadership.

The book treat five instructional units: (1) electricity in the home, (2) utensils and appliances, (3) plumbing and heating, (4) doors and windows, and (5) care of the home and garden.

Units contain consumer information, instruction for care and adjustment of home appliances, and equipment and craft projects that relate to the respective unit.

The authors claim that boys and girls who master the information and learn to do the manipulative problems the text explains and illustrates can cope with the everyday problems of home living.