The Pure Food, Drink, and Drug Crusaders, 1879–1914


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About the Book

Under a likeness of President Theodore Roosevelt in the Library of Congress, a plaque lists the Pure Food and Drink Law of 1906 as one of the three landmark achievements of his administration. Few authorities would disagree. Designed to ensure the safety of foods, drinks and drugs, the law was one of the first pieces of social legislation enacted in the United States. Among the most enthusiastic and persistent crusaders for the bill’s passage were a wide array of women’s groups, many politically active for the first time.

Based in large part on primary sources, this work examines the many groups involved in the passage of the Pure Food and Drink Law and how their work affected American society. Part One examines the origins of the movement and why women became so involved. Part Two focuses on the primary groups involved in the law’s passage, such as the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. How it was that such diverse groups rallied around this issue is also explored. The industrial and political opposition to the law and how the crusaders overcame it is covered in Part Three, along with details on how the law’s proponents were able to pressure the U.S. Congress into passing it and how they worked to see it fully implemented.

About the Author(s)

A retired pharmacist, Lorine Swainston Goodwin received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Missouri. She now lives in Provo, Utah.

Bibliographic Details

Lorine Swainston Goodwin

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 359
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2742-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0824-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      5

Part One: Origins      15
1. The Vanguard      17
2. The Pure Food, Drink, and Drug Dilemma: Social Causes for Activism      38
3. The State Crusaders      62

Part Two: The National Crusaders, 1882–1904      85
4. The Banyan Tree and the Hydra: The National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Crusaders, I      88
5. The National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Crusaders, II      110
6. The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Crusaders      131
7. The National Consumers’ League Crusaders      152
8. The Southern Crusaders      171
9. Profiles of Pure Food, Drink, and Drug Protagonists      197

Part Three: Securing the Act      211
10. Breakthrough: Partners in the Pure Food, Drink, and Drug Crusade      213
11. Io Triomphe!      241
12. “The Augean Stables Are Still Unclean”      266
Conclusion      289

Notes      297
Selected Sources      333
Index      341

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “well-written and convincing”—Choice
  • “intriguing…offers useful and new interpretations of the Progressive Era, the history of women’s activism, and food and drug regulations”—Muse
  • “impressive”—The Journal of American History
  • “[an] abundance of detail”—The American Historical Review