Women's Home Companion (1883-1956)
|In 1883 Mast, Crowell, and Kirkpatrick acquired a new magazine, The Home Companion. The popularity of the women's section of Farm and Fireside created a demand for a publication devoted entirely to the interest of women. In 1886 Mast, Crowell, and Kirkpatrick changed the name of the publication to Ladies Home Companion and expanded the content to include prescriptive articles pertaining to fashion and housekeeping. In 1897, Mast, Crowell, and Kirkpatrick again changed the title of the publication to Women's Home Companion and preserved much of the content.|
The early content of The Women's Home Companion illustrates the late nineteenth century ideal of separate spheres. The ideal of separate spheres required women to occupy the domestic sphere, which included the management of all household tasks, while men occupied the social and industrial sphere and functioned as wage earners. However, as America progressed into the twentieth century, the separate spheres ideal began to collapse, and new gender roles would be defined. The Women's Home Companion served as a resource that would help women define a common identity and forge a distinct feminine consciousness.