History 397F University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Paper #1 Assignment
DUE: In Class, Thursday, September 22, 2005
For this assignment, you will be asked to write a brief (4-5 page) essay on one of the topics described below. Your paper must have a signed cover sheet (available at http://people.umass.edu/llovett/cover.html).
Please review the paper Writing Guidelines for this course before you begin to research or write. (Available at http://people.umass.edu/llovett/writing.html.)
In his article on child weight charts, Jeffrey Brosco argues that we must understanding the rise of both measured standards and medical experts (pediatricians) if we are to explain the history of child malnutrition in the early twentieth century. How did Frank and Lillian Gilbreth create themselves as efficiency experts using a system of measured standards? Do the same kind of strengths and weaknesses found in the early child weight charts also apply to the Gilbreths’ work? Support your answer with specific evidence from the reading.
In Cheaper by the Dozen, the size of the Gilbreth family is one of the many running jokes. Use Angus McLaren’s discussion of birth control and family size to discuss why the size of the Gilbreth family defied the norms of its time. In your analysis, please consider the relevance of class and the historical context of Progressive reform.