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The Cost of Shelter   By:

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THE COST OF SHELTER.

By ELLEN H. RICHARDS

Instructor in Sanitary Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

1905.

THE HOUSEHOLD EXISTS FOR ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

Two or more persons form an alliance

(a) for protection against the outside world;

(b) for protection against the outside world and for the rearing of children;

(c) for the greater gain in convenience which the common life can give over that of single effort;

(d) for companionship;

(e) for the greater independence it gives to the group;

(f) for the greater ease in satisfying one's prejudices or whims.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE HOUSE AND WHAT IT SIGNIFIES IN FAMILY LIFE. TYPIFIED IN PIONEER AND COLONIAL HOMES, THE CENTRES OF INDUSTRY AND HOSPITALITY

CHAPTER II.

THE HOUSE CONSIDERED AS A MEASURE OF SOCIAL STANDING

CHAPTER III.

LEGACIES FROM THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, ILL ADAPTED TO CHANGED CONDITIONS, CAUSE PHYSICAL DETERIORATION AND DOMESTIC FRICTION

CHAPTER IV.

THE PLACE OF THE HOUSE IN THE SOCIAL ECONOMY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

CHAPTER V.

POSSIBILITIES IN SIGHT PROVIDED THE HOUSEWIFE IS PROGRESSIVE

CHAPTER VI.

COST PER PERSON AND PER FAMILY FOR VARIOUS GRADES OF SHELTER

CHAPTER VII.

RELATION BETWEEN COST OF SHELTER AND TOTAL INCOME TO BE EXPENDED

CHAPTER VIII.

TO RENT OR TO OWN: A DIFFICULT QUESTION

THE COST OF SHELTER.

CHAPTER I.

THE HOUSE AND WHAT IT SIGNIFIES IN FAMILY LIFE; TYPIFIED IN PIONEER AND COLONIAL HOMES, THE CENTERS OF INDUSTRY AND HOSPITALITY.

"There is no noble life without a noble aim." CHARLES DOLE.

The word Home to the Anglo Saxon race calls to mind some definite house as the family abiding place. Around it cluster the memories of childhood, the aspirations of youth, the sorrows of middle life.

The most potent spell the nineteenth century cast on its youth was the yearning for a home of their own, not a piece of their father's. The spirit of the age working in the minds of men led them ever westward to conquer for themselves a homestead, forced them to go, leaving the aged behind, and the graves of the weak on the way.

There must be a strong race principle behind a movement of such magnitude, with such momentous consequences. Elbow room, space, and isolation to give free play to individual preference, characterized pioneer days. The cord that bound the whole was love of home, one's own home, even if tinged with impatience of the restraints it imposed, for home and house do imply a certain restraint in individual wishes. And here, perhaps, is the greatest significance of the family house. It cannot perfectly suit all members in its details, but in its great office, that of shelter and privacy ownership the house of the nineteenth century stands supreme. No other age ever provided so many houses for single families. It stands between the community houses of primitive times and the hives of the modern city tenements.

As sociologically defined, the family means a common house common, that is, to the family, but excluding all else. This exclusiveness is foreshadowed in the habits of the majority of animals, each pair preempting a particular log or burrow or tree in which to rear its young, to which it retreats for safety from enemies. Primitive man first borrowed the skins of animals and their burrowing habits. The space under fallen trees covered with moss and twigs grew into the hut covered with bark or sod. The skins permitted the portable tent.

It is indeed a far cry from these rude defences against wind and weather to the dwelling houses of the well to do family in any country to day, but the need of the race is just the same: protection, safety from danger, a shield for the young child, a place where it can grow normally in peaceful quiet. It behooves the community to inquire whether the houses of to day are fulfilling the primary purposes of the race in the midst of the various other uses to which modern man is putting them... Continue reading book >>




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