See Universal Negro Improvement Association.
Hamlin, Charles S. (1861-1938)
Charles Sumner Hamlin served as assistant secretary of the treasury, 1913-14. Subsequently he served in several capacities at the Federal Reserve Board: chairman (1914-16), member of the Board of Governors (1916-36), and special counsel to the Board of Governors (1936-38). Hamlin kept extensive diaries and scrapbooks documenting his professional and social life. In this digital collection, the "Hamlin Memorandum and Diary Extracts, Showing Federal Reserve Board Response to 1927 Recession and Stock Market Speculation: July 1, 1927 - January 4, 1929" offers a detailed, behind-the-scenes chronological account of debates among members of the Federal Reserve Board as they forged monetary policy aimed at promoting business interests while preserving American standards of living.
The Hays Code in Filmmaking
The Hays Code took its name from William H. Hays (1879-1954), who became a powerful arbiter of motion picture morals during the 1920s. Hays first attracted public attention as chairman of the Republican State Committee in Indiana. From 1918 to 1921 he served as chairman of the Republican National Committee, until President Harding appointed him postmaster general. He resigned in 1922 to become president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA).
As MPPDA president, Hays sought to protect the motion-picture industry from charges of immorality. He deflected censorship efforts by instituting a system of movie ratings that enabled the industry to monitor itself. The Hays Code sought to establish cinematic standards of morality and respectability while sustaining the commercial viability of the film industry.
See also: Motion Picture News , March 20, 1926.
Hollerith, Herman (1860-1929)
Herman Hollerith pioneered the field of data management when he invented the electric tabulating machine and the punch cards that came to be used in industrial accounting. His inventions greatly influenced the development of statistical analyses in industry in the 1920s.
In the early years of the twentieth century, Hollerith hired his services to the Chicago merchant Marshall Field, who was poised to turn a small dry-goods firm into one of the world's largest department stores. Determined to find out what women consumers wanted and faced by a growing assortment of goods, the retailer asked Hollerith to undertake a systematic sales analysis. Hollerith's punch-card system was able to ascertain which articles had sold in a given month and whether a purchase had been made for credit or cash. The information could be accessed by product category, item number, value, date, location, and customer. Business questions could be answered by grouping the cards according to any one of several organizing categories or combinations of categories. Comparative figures could be obtained by passing the cards one or more times through the machines that processed them. In 1911 Hollerith sold his data-processing business to a small company headed by Thomas J. Watson that eventually became known as IBM.
Although the field of home economics was mainly concerned with foodstuffs, it became a broad component of 1920s consumer education for two reasons. First, there was a widespread belief that homemakers could be taught how to become better consumers. Second, home economics concerned itself with two central but competing impulses of the Coolidge era: consumption and thrift. Home economists taught that a scientific and systematic approach to household management could supplement and correct consumer excess. Household budgeting thus became a central concern of the field. Home economists also believed that items made at home, such as canned goods or clothing, could help consumers develop the skills and self-discipline needed for prudent spending. The professionalization of the home-economics field--the science of household management, as it was called, or household engineering--was indebted to the principles of scientific management developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915).
The Coolidge administration also contributed to the growth of home economics. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover played an active part in promoting the Better Homes Movement. The U.S. Department of Agriculture formed its Bureau of Home Economics on July 1, 1923, on the recommendation of the secretary of agriculture, Henry C. Wallace. The Department of Agriculture supervised home-economics research and sponsored education through a network of extension agents based in the land-grant colleges, where home economics was both a recognized course of study and an outreach program answering the needs of the community.
See also: Thrift for Women. Presented by the Household Science Department of the Illinois Farmers' Institute (1930); Selections from the Anna Kelton Wiley Papers at the Library of Congress; and Extension Work Among Negroes Conducted by Negro Agents, 1923 (1925)
Hoover, Herbert C. (1874-1964)
Herbert Clark Hoover was born in Iowa, the second of three children in a Quaker family. At a young age, he lost his parents and moved to Oregon to live with his uncle, Henry John Minthorn. He graduated from Stanford University in 1895 with a degree in engineering. After a career as an engineer, he achieved public prominence at the end of the World War I as head of the American Relief Committee and then as food administrator in Woodrow Wilson's presidential administration. In that position Hoover worked to increase food production, reduce consumption, eliminate waste, stabilize prices, and improve distribution. He was appointed secretary of commerce by President Warren G. Harding in 1921 and remained in that office until he was elected president in 1929.
As secretary of commerce, Hoover declared a "war on waste" in government and private industry. He thoroughly reorganized his department and expanded its activities, particularly in the area of foreign trade. Within the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce he created a Merchandising Research Division, a Domestic Regional Division, and a Marketing Service Division to help businessmen adapt to an economic climate increasingly characterized by mergers and the trend towards chain stores and more widely available consumer credit. The Bureau supplied the private sector with statistics about consumer preferences, marketing trends, and production and distribution. This information greatly increased the ability of businesses to chart their most profitable course.
Hoover also worked to remove antitrust barriers and helped organize a series of conferences at the Federal Trade Commission to forge voluntary, industry-by-industry consensus on fair trade practices. Under his leadership, the Bureau of Standards and the Division of Simplified Practice at the Department of Commerce stimulated nationwide efforts to maximize worker productivity and streamline the production process. Hoover strongly supported the trend towards standardization and the simplification of industrial procedures. He also played a leading part in public campaigns such as the Better Homes Movement. His essay "The Home as An Investment," in the Better Homes in America Plan Book for Demonstration Week, October 9 to 14, 1922 , expresses some of his thoughts about the relationship between scientific management and domestic prosperity.
Lynd, Robert S. (1892-1970)
From 1927 to 1931, Robert Staughton Lynd was assistant to the chairman and later permanent secretary of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a leading institution for research and statistics. His role was pivotal during a time of enormous growth in the prestige and influence of the social sciences.
A noted author, Lynd wrote the chapter on consumption, "The People as Consumers", for the two-volume study Recent Social Trends In the United States (1933). With his wife, Helen Merrell Lynd, Robert S. Lynd also wrote Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture (1929), a sociological analysis of Muncie, Indiana, that became the classic portrait of small-city life in Middle America during the Coolidge years. Middletown documented work, family life, the family budget, vacations, and leisure time in twenty households in Muncie for the period 1919-1924, revealing detailed information about installment payments, automobile and gasoline use, record players, radios, and movie attendance. The Lynds followed their first Middletown study with Middletown in Transition, A Study in Cultural Conflicts in 1937.
See also: Selections from the Robert Lynd Papers at the Library of Congress.