Home Legion Medal

Donated by Paula Thompson

Home Legion Medal of Distinguished Service in HomemakingIn 1944, homemakers across America were given the opportunity to join the Betty Crocker Home Legion, an outreach project offered through the Betty Crocker Radio Cooking School. Membership in the cooking school was of charge upon completing a registration form and answering a list of questions designed to demonstrate a homemaker’s skills in meal-planning, household economy, and other domestic skills. The questionnaires were reviewed by a panel of “experienced homemakers,” and those who passed muster were awarded this pin-backed medal (it measures about 1.75 inches in size), along with a suitable-for-framing copy of the Homemakers Creed:

I believe homemaking is a noble and challenging career.
I believe homemaking is an art requiring many different skills.
I believe homemaking requires the best of my efforts, my abilities, and my thinking.
I believe home reflects the spirit of the homemaker.
I believe home should be a place of peace, joy, and contentment.
I believe no task is too humble that contributes to the cleanliness, the order, the health, the well being of the household.
I believe a homemaker must be true to the highest ideals of love, loyalty, service, and religion.
I believe home must be an influence for good in the neighborhood, the community, the country.

This is to certify that [member’s name] is a member of the Home Legion dedicated to good homemaking for a better world.

Signed, Betty Crocker

By the late 1940s, over 70,000 women were members of Betty Crocker’s Home Legion program.

By the way, Betty Crocker is not a real person, but was born in 1921 as part of an advertising campaign for Washburn-Crosby Company, a flour milling company that was the forerunner of General Mills.

Donated by Paula Thompson

In 1944, homemakers across America were given the opportunity to join the Betty Crocker Home Legion, an outreach project offered through the Betty Crocker Radio Cooking School. Membership in the cooking school was of charge upon completing a registration form and answering a list of questions designed to demonstrate a homemaker’s skills in meal-planning, household economy, and other domestic skills. The questionnaires were reviewed by a panel of “experienced homemakers,” and those who passed muster were awarded this pin-backed medal (it measures about 1.75 inches in size), along with a suitable-for-framing copy of the Homemakers Creed:, along with a suitable-for-framing copy of the Homemakers Creed:

I believe homemaking is a noble and challenging career.
I believe homemaking is an art requiring many different skills.
I believe homemaking requires the best of my efforts, my abilities, and my thinking.
I believe home reflects the spirit of the homemaker.
I believe home should be a place of peace, joy, and contentment.
I believe no task is too humble that contributes to the cleanliness, the order, the health, the well being of the household.
I believe a homemaker must be true to the highest ideals of love, loyalty, service, and religion.
I believe home must be an influence for good in the neighborhood, the community, the country.

This is to certify that [member’s name] is a member of the Home Legion dedicated to good homemaking for a better world.

Signed, Betty Crocker

By the late 1940s, over 70,000 women were members of Betty Crocker’s Home Legion program.

By the way, Betty Crocker is not a real person, but was born in 1921 as part of an advertising campaign for Washburn-Crosby Company, a flour milling company that was the forerunner of General Mills.

 

Bustle

Donated by Annabel Searcy

Bustles were used mainly in the mid-to-late nineteenth century to expand and support the back of a woman’s dress. This “Taylor’s Cushion No. 2” woven wire bustle dates from the early 1900s, fairly late in the lifespan of these padded undergarments. By the early 1910s, the bustle had been replaced by the long corset which shaped more of the body then just the back of the dress.

View Henry H. Taylor’s 1900 bustle patent.

Class of 1922 Ring

Donated by Ada Lee Shook

This ring belonged to Frances Slaughter. She was born in Goshen (Washington County) in 1905 to John Lionel (“Lona”) and Ada Bevers Slaughter. The family moved to Springdale in 1914 and from there to Fayetteville in 1921, where Frances graduated from high school in 1922.

Frances kept a diary during her senior year. On Friday, May 19, 1922, she wrote of graduation day:

Frances Slaughter, circa 1922. Carl Smith, photographer/Ada Lee Shook Collection (S-98-85-965)

I got up at 8 A.M. and went to the Ozark [Theater] to practice. I got real mad at Mary Dale Sellers. I pressed my dress, made sandwiches and everything. I went to the Commencement exercises and after that to Thelma’s bunkin [bunking] party. We started to go on a night gown parade but saw a drunk man. We went to sleep about 3 A.M.

In the fall of 1922 Frances Slaughter entered the University of Arkansas. There she met William Carl Smith, whom she married in 1926. The Smiths had one daughter, Ada Lee, born in 1928.

Linen Suit

Donated by Victoria McKinney

Evan Lewis Martin was the son of Henry and Bette Hannah Martin of Pea Ridge (Benton County). He died at the age of 12 in 1910. In his death notice, the Rogers Democrat reported that Evan “loved music and was a fine singer for a child.”

This linen outfit with its ruffled collar is a variation of the Little Lord Fauntleroy suit, a popular style of the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the book Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1886), the  main character wore a black velvet knee pants and jacket over a lace-collared blouse. The style was popular until about 1920.

Orval Faubus’s Hat

Gov. Orval Faubus (in dark suit) at the Springdale Savings and Loan Association dedication, June 11, 1960. Howard Clark, photographer/Caroline Price Clark Collection (S-2001-82-375)

Donated by James McNally

This circa 1960 was made for Gov. Orval Faubus by Harry Rolnick, co-owner and designer of Resistol Hats. Rolnick and E.R. Byer founded Byer-Rolnick Company in Dallas in 1927. Byer-Rolnick specialized in Western and dress hats branded Resistol for “resist all weather.” Resistol hats quickly became famous for their trademarked “Self-Conforming Band” and “Kitten Finish” (a method of processing felt which produced a softer texture than conventionally-made felt).

Beret

Vera Key, 1920s. Bingham, photographer/Ada Lee Shook Collection (S-87-325-72)

Donated by Ada Lee Shook

Vera Key (1893-1987) was a civic leader in Rogers, Arkansas. Born at War Eagle (Benton County) and raised in Rogers, she served in the Army Nurses Corps in World War I and later worked as a nurse for noted author and humorist Tom Morgan of Rogers.

A descendant of two pioneer families of Benton County, the Blackburns and the Keys, Vera Key devoted her later years to historic preservation projects. She was active in the effort to establish Pea Ridge as a national military park and was the first chairperson of the commission that founded the Rogers Historical Museum.

Vera Key acquired many hats over the years, which would have been natural for a woman of her era involved in civic organizations. Several of her hats, including this one, came from the Lazarus Department Store in Cincinnati, Ohio. This circa 1945 simple olive green wool beret was made all the more distinctive with the addition of the cicada insect pin. A blue bead hat pin held the hat in place.