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RAMI Domestic Science Department apron, cooking cap, and bag

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0255

Scope and Contents

RIT Domestic Science apron and related objects contains 3 items: a cooking cap, apron, and drawstring bag. It is likely that the drawstring bag was made by a student in the program. The apron was made by student Alice Woodard, class of 1914. Domestic science students wore cooking caps, dresses, and aprons during classes such as home cookery, invalid cookery, and preservation of food. This particular cap was worn by Clara Preston Cole in 1919-1920. Cole was a student in the Department of Domestic Science.


  • Creation: circa 1905-1920

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Historical Information: RIT Department of Domestic Science

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) can trace its origins to the founding of the Rochester Athenaeum in 1829. After joining with several different Rochester institutions during the 19th century, the Athenaeum finally merged with the Mechanics Institute (founded in 1885) in 1891 to form the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). The first domestic science class was held on March 2, 1893; within months, the Department of Domestic Science and Art formally opened with courses in cooking, sewing, emergencies, hygiene, and home nursing. By 1899, the department had grown from 367 to 1,310 students with additional courses in millinery, laundry work, elementary chemistry, physiology, teaching methods, dressmaking, and home furnishing.

The department has continued to evolve throughout the Institute's history. By 1960, it was renamed the School of Food Administration and was part of the College of Business. In 1974, it became the Department of Food Administration, Hotel, and Tourist Industries Management. Currently, the department is part of the College of Applied Science and Technology.


0.75 Linear Feet (1 Clamshell box)




Three items from the Department of Domestic Science and Art at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute: 1 apron, 1 cooking hat, and 1 drawstring bag.


Collection consists of three items.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The cooking cap was gifted to the RIT Archives in October 1972 by Clara Preston Cole, a 1922 graduate of the Domestic Science department at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute.


  • Image of the cooking hat and additional historical material related to the Department of Domestic Science in Past Meets Present: Recovering the History of Women at Rochester Institute of Technology, 1885-1945. Edited by Tina Olsin Lent, Becky Simmons, and Donna Rubin. [Rochester, N.Y.] : The Pathways Collective, 2009.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in September 2011.

RIT Domestic Science apron, cooking cap, and bag
RIT Archives
Amy Vilz
19 September 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA