What a tribute to the worth of woman are the names by which she is enshrined in common speech! What tender associations halo the names of wife, mother, sister and daughter! It must never be forgotten that the dearest, most sacred of these names, are, in origin, connected with the dignity of service. In early speech the wife, or wife-man (woman) was the "weaver," whose care it was to clothe the family, as it was the husband's duty to "feed" it, or to provide the materials of sustenance. The mother or matron was named from the most tender and sacred of human functions, the nursing of the babe; the daughter from her original duty, in the pastoral age, of milking the cows. The lady was so-called from the social obligations entailed on the prosperous woman, of "loaf-giving," or dispensing charity to the less fortunate. As dame, madame, madonna, in the old days of aristocracy, she bore equal rank with the lord and master, and carried down to our better democratic age the co-partnership of civic and family rights and duties.
Modern science and invention, civic and economic progress, the growth of humanitarian ideas, and the approach to Christian unity, are all combining to give woman and woman's work a central place in the social order. The vast machinery of government, especially in the new activities of the Agricultural and Labor Departments applied to investigations and experiments into the questions of pure food, household economy and employments suited to woman, is now directed more than ever before to the uplifting of American homes and the assistance of the homemakers. These researches are at the call of every housewife. However, to save her the bewilderment of selection from so many useful suggestions, and the digesting of voluminous directions, the fundamental principles of food and household economy as published by the government departments, are here presented, with the permission of the respective authorities, together with many other suggestions of utilitarian character which may assist the mother and housewife to a greater fulfillment of her office in the uplift of the home.