Quotations From ELLEN HENRIETTA SWALLOW RICHARDS


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  • Work is a sovereign remedy for all ills, and a man who loves to work will never be unhappy.
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 3, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). Written in an April 10, 1869, letter to her parents when she was a student at Vassar College.

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  • You cannot make women contented with cooking and cleaning and you need not try.
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 15, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). Said c. the 1890s to a conference of educators.

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  • A political place with no power, only influence, is not to my taste.
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 10, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). Said c. 1885. Richards was explaining why she did not wish to become Supervisor of Schools in Boston.

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  • A sense of power is the most intoxicating stimulant a mortal can enjoy ...
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 11, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). Written in the 1870s. Richards had in mind the "sense of power" derived from a strong education.

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  • I prefer surveying for a week to spending a week in fashionable society even of the best class.
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 3, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). Written in a May 10, 1869, letter to her parents when she was attending Vassar College, where she took a course in land surveying.
  • I wish the women's rights folks would be more sensible. I think women have a great deal to learn, before they are fit to vote.
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 4, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). Written on March 13, 1870, to her parents while she was a student at Vassar College.

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  • The world moves, but we seem to move with it. When I studied physiology before ... there were two hundred and eight bones in the body. Now there are two hundred and thirty- eight.
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 4, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). Written on February 13, 1870, when she was a student at Vassar College.

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  • ...all enjoyment is dependent upon the frailty of human life and human desires ... if we were to have all we want and to live forever, all enjoyment would be gone.
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 9, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). Written in the 1870s.

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  • It is cruelty to children to keep five-year-olds sitting still, gazing into vacancy even for one hour at a time. We have little idea of the torture we thus inflict.
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 10, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). Written in 1881, criticizing traditional methods of primary education.

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  • Subject the material world to the higher ends by understanding it in all its relations to daily life and action.
    Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 16, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912). From a January 1911 address to the Home Economics Association of Greater New York: "The Conservation of Human Energy." Richards was a leading developer and advocate of the home economics or "domestic science" movement.

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