Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 98
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98 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952
kinds and quantities of possessions requiring storage in the house;
preferences for locations of activity areas and features of construction;
and on the houses occupied by the families and how they
Special household activities mentioned by the homemakers included
certain phases of meal preparation (baking and buttermaking), meat
cutting, lard making, food preservation, meal service, entertaining,
laundering, sewing, and business activities. The porch was the place
preferred for preparing food for preservation by almost two-thirds
of the women. In the mild climate of the Coastal Plain, more than
half of the women washed out of doors or in a separate building the
year round. In other subregions the kitchen was used more than any
other place in winter; many transferred this activity to the porch,
a separate building or, in the summer, to the yard.
Most of the houses occupied by the families studied were one-story
frame structures, with a median of five rooms and one or more porches.
Only 18 percent had bathrooms and 33 percent had running water.
Seventy-two percent of all the houses had electricity. Wood was
used more than any other fuel.
According to the survey, three out of four of the families wanted
a one-story house. In the Mountain and Piedmont regions, families
preferred houses of more than one story and houses with basements.
Two porches, a separate dining room, kitchen-dining area, and a
special guest room were the choice of most families. Special features
desired were open fireplaces, windows over the kitchen sink, some
windows low enough that small children could look out, and a sheltered
area for drying clothes in bad weather. More and better storage
arrangements were requested by the majority of the homemakers.
Custom-made houses are more expensive than many families can
afford. The survey information, however, is being translated into
a wide variety of house plans. From these the Southern family may
select the home which represents the best available combination of
Western Rural Housing
To find out just what western farm women would like in the way
of housing, 1,100 farm housewives were asked what features they
would include if they could redesign their homes. Answers to this
aind other questions were obtained to help house designers plan houses
for western living. The work on the survey was conducted by the
Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Utah, and Washington
stations (coop. USDA).
In keeping with the traditions of the wide open spaces in the West,
farm homemakers in the region wanted more room. They wanted
big kitchens, for example, at least large enough for two people to
work there at a time. This was especially true for families of five
persons or more. And most of them also wanted space enough so
they could eat in the kitchen. Much of the canning and freezing
of foods is now done in the kitchen, but many of the women said
they would like to do part of this in some other area.
The western farm women, 94 percent of whom do all or most of
their own laundry, preferred lo do it- somewhere other than in the
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952, book, January 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5990/m1/100/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.