Anna Kelton Wiley (1877-1964) was the wife of
Theirs is the great love story to emerge from the research done for the Coolidge-Consumerism collection. In 1873, while working in a laboratory at Harvard University, where he completed his B.S. degree, Dr. Wiley wrote the poem "Chemico Metrical Madrigal" (now in the papers of his wife), in which he paid tribute, in images drawn from chemistry and in four-line rhyming stanzas, to a blond, blue-eyed ideal of feminine beauty. So compelling was his vision of the woman he was looking for that he waited for her another twenty-five years, until in 1898 he first saw Anna Kelton.
Both Dr. and Mrs. Wiley were leaders in the fight for improved consumer health and safety in relation to food, drug and beverage products on the market. Anna Kelton Wiley was president of the Housekeepers' Alliance from 1912-1914, and again in 1922. The alliance was an organization of housekeepers formed in 1908 to promote the interests of the home and the homemaker-consumer with respect to safety and sanitation of food, clothing and other household items, and with respect to "just weights and measures." The Alliance also turned its attention to how to use and save money in the home. Wiley's papers show that she was active in the nationwide Thrift Movement as well. (INTRO NOTE Thrift)
In addition, Anna Kelton Wiley was president of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the National Consumers League, 1911-1912 (DIRECTORY NOTE National Consumers League Papers), and president of the American Pure Food League, 1933-1935.
Colorful, densely textured glimpses into the daily life of an activist consumer-homemaker in a large metropolitan area during the first half of the 1920s emerge especially from two files in her papers.
A second, slightly later file,