Home Economics initiation, Farmington, ca. 1950

Contributed by Mantor Library at UMF


The initiation ceremony for Home Economics students in the class of 1950 at Farmington State Teachers College was the formal introduction into the Home Economics program.

Traditionally, the service included a lighted Betty lamp in the center of a table with rainbow of colored candles, three on either side, a white candle behind the lamp, and blue and gold initiation ribbons on the table in front of the lamp. The colored candles were lit from the white one. The white candle symbolized pure light (all the colors of the rainbow), the blue (strength of character), yellow (wisdom), red (health), lavender (beauty), green (service) and orange (hearth fire).

The service also included the purpose and duties of the Home Ec Club and an explanation of the Betty lamp to the initiates. The Betty lamp was used by housewives as portable light so they could carry it to wherever they were working while doing housework. It is a symbol of the American Home Economics Association and also used as a symbol of learning.

As their names were called, each initiate stepped up and lit their candle from the white candle, received their ribbons, and recited the Home Ec Club pledge. The service closed with the signing of the National Home Ec Club song.

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About This Item

  • Title: Home Economics initiation, Farmington, ca. 1950
  • Creator: Farmington State Teachers College
  • Creation Date: circa 1950
  • Subject Date: circa 1950
  • Town: Farmington
  • County: Franklin
  • State: ME
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Dimensions: 12.5 cm x 18 cm
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Mantor Library at UMF
University of Maine at Farmington, 116 South Street, Farmington, ME 04938
(207) 778-7219

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