Geraldine’s 1951 Hoover High School Home Ec project: 27 pages of Storage Conveniences in the Home

retro-kitchen-organizedFlash back 62 years — to 1951 — and what a treat we have today:  The 1951 Home Economics project completed reader Angela’s mom Geraldine when she was in the 11th grade at Hoover High School in San Diego, Calif. Entitled “Storage Conveniences in the Home,” this delightful primer is pieced together scrapbook-style, using yarn taped to pages as pointer lines. We declare it museum worthy — a wonderful piece of popular culture ephemera that recalls life — and the education of young women — in the early 1950s.

mid-century-ranch-houseAngela wrote:

My mom, who eventually got her bachelor’s degree in home economics, sent me a project she did in high school, in 1951. It’s fabulous. Pictures from magazines, different diagrams of kitchens, examples of types of shelving, etc. I know your site fans would dig it.

vintage-stoveWe asked Angela if her mom could tell us a bit more. Geraldine replied in a flash:

As an 11th grade student at Hoover High School in San Diego, I chose Home Management for one of my elective classes.

mid-century-family-roomOf course, the class was part of the Home Economics Dept.

vintage-tile-bathroomThe assignment was to use storage space wisely throughout the entire home and garage.  Four other girls and I were given the kitchen storage space project.

vintage-blue-kitchenEach of us presented our magazine cut-outs to the class and I was the only one who earned an “A”.  Why?  I briefly explained one can spoil a dinner recipe if you are unable to find the correct knife for mincing fresh herbs due to clutter.  Store only what you often use and remove the clutter.

stone-and-wood-vintage-bathroomOnly an “A”, Geraldine? We give you an A+! This is such a wonderful time capsule of school life in the 1950s — thank you, Geraldine! Keep digging through your archives, we want to see More!


And yes, Angela, we dig it. We dig it a lot. Thank you!

Readers, did you discover any new storage ideas from Geraldine’s report? Pam says she’s diggin’ the built-in perfume shelves in #20

All of the images from Geraldine’s high school kitchen and storage project can be seen much larger in our slideshow — for ease of reading captions and admiring all her hard work.  Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:

  1. Janice says:

    I’m not that young (graduate HS in 1975), but it’s odd that one of the first things I thought of was, “Wow, she had to do all that without the internet.” I can picture Geraldine sitting at her desk in her bedroom or the kitchen table pouring over magazines and cutting out each and every picture and handwriting her tag lines (by the way, very nice penmanship – another lost art!) What a wonderful treat and as much as I loved looking at the pictures, what I really loved was the image of that 17-18 year girl working on a school project and taking pride in it. Thank you for sharing Geraldine and Angela!

  2. Neil in San Francisco says:

    Well, I’m trippin’ on those swank chrome cabinet handles in image #2! I’ve seen a lot of handles, but never came across those before. And, “Daughter” must have swooned for all that purple in image #22!

  3. CarolK says:

    We about the renovate our kitchen and many of these ideas are utilized in current cabinets: the pull-outs, the mixer lift, the corner lazy susans, cutlery drawers, and even bread drawers and broom closets. I don’t quite trust a mixer lift with my Kitchen-Aid, I think I’ll just stick with my bread box and I plan to move my mother’s old china cupboard out of the dining room and into the kitchen. I do need corner storage and knife storage. I did see a Chemex coffemaker and and old vacuum coffee pot. I also saw a couple of things that would violate current safety codes like outlets very near the sink.

  4. Kay says:

    My mom also graduated from Hoover High in 1953. We both loved the pictures and the many practical storage ideas from then and for now.

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