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.