Ruth Stimson        
Homemaking Encyclopedia        
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A Living Encyclopedia on All Phases of Homemaking

picture Ruth, far left, teaching home demonstration class
As a Home Demonstration Agent for the Extension Service, Ruth had her perfect job. In an article published in 1953 in New Hampshire Profiles, Dorothy Dean Holman, the writer who was also Ruth's neighbor, tells why.

"A little curly-haired miss and a freckle-faced boy were working busily in the backyard building a fire engine. The little girl's blows with the hammer fell as true as her playmate's; in fact, she hit the nail on the head more often than he! For here was work she loved to do - not playing with dolls, making mud pies, or playing house - but building things.

"That little girl has now grown into young womanhood, and still holding to that desire to create, she has made it her life's work to show others the way... (She) is a veritable encyclopedia of how to do many phases of homemaking."

Ruth speaks for herself in the article, echoing this defining quality.

"I like the challenge of learning new things, and have to be taught myself before I can teach others. Learn to do by doing is our (the Extension Service's) motto, and we do just that."

Ruth describes Extension work as "education beyond the realm of high school and college."

Ruth demonstrated and taught women about a myriad of topics including upholstering, slip covering and refinishing furniture; clothing construction and tailoring; fabrics and their uses; food production, preservation and storage; weekly meal planning; kitchen arrangement; hospitality in the home; household pests and their control, financial planning and health issues.

Ruth was also a popular lecturer at women's clubs on these and other subjects.

Ruth included Dorothy's article in her autobiography.