and under what circumstances the paper veered far right is
something I haven't determined although I didn't dig deeply into it.
Probably many current readers would be surprised by its
radical beginnings just as the Youmans would be shocked to see how their baby mutated.
In line with what hooked me into this story, Smith laments change: "Movies and automobiles have taken the place of fireside stories before bedtime or a walk around the block after supper, and after the movies, it is too late for mother to explain why, where, and what it all meant.30
Among grownups, concerns, frets, even outright condemnations of new technologies that alter societal traditions seem almost as certain as death and taxes.
Developments in education are praised by Smith, including the introduction of the "Froebelian method." 31 Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel (1782—1852), according to Wikipedia was, "...a German pedagogue, a student of Pestalozzi who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He created the concept of the 'kindergarten' and also coined the word now used in German and English." 32
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867—1959) credited one of the educator's inventions, Froebel blocks, with influencing his approach to architecture. According to Froebel Web: "Wright's mother introduced him to Froebel's ideas and to Froebelian toys. They consisted of geometric blocks to assemble in different ways, encouraging the child's sense of three-dimensional composition, and paper to fold in various shapes, aiding the child's perception of planar elements. Early in his career, Wright began to construct buildings with a definite geometric clarity, such as the Winslow house in River Forest, Illinois of 1893. The Froebel toys undoubtedly led the way to this type of design, so advanced for its time." 33 "Led the way" might be an overstatement because Wright's sense of architecture resulted from many factors; various influences pulled him along not the least of which was his taliesin.
Ending the Freeman article are timeless words of wisdom from Smith: "It is suggested that some mothers and fathers of today hurry and catch up to their daughters and sons. If the parents don't wake up they will soon be left far behind for youth today travels at a fast pace. The bobbed hair, the free body, the forgetfulness of parents in teaching restraint have created a maiden that makes one feel as if the northwest wind were passing by. Have you ever known the northwest wind to do aught but blow about a bit?"
Smith is an impressive commentator, but I wasn't able to learn anything about her beyond what was mentioned in the article, even though I contacted local Y.W.C.A. associations in Connecticut, the Bridgeport (Connecticut) Public library, and the national Y.W.C.A. office in Washington, D.C.
Frobel blocks similar to the ones Frank
Lloyd Wright played with as a child.
Click for larger image.
Courtesy of Norman Brosterman (see