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The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences was founded in 1909 as the American Home Economics Association. The Association had its origins in the Lake Placid Conferences that were held from 1899 to 1908 with the aim of becoming "a kind of clearinghouse for all the schools and teachers of home economics." They hoped their audience would include the "professional worker in the home and institutional household, and all, whether students, scientists, or practical persons, who are interested in the improvement of living conditions." The conferences were first convened by Ellen Richards and others interested in the emerging field of home economics. Ellen Richards is considered to be the founder of the American Home Economics Association and was a pioneer in home economics as a field of scientific study and social reform. The involvement of these early professional home economists in sanitation and public health, child development, scientific nutrition, functional home and environmental design, education, and household management set the stage for the endeavors of professional home economists in the following years.