Guide to the Esther Pond Smith Papers 1923-1954
Cage 812

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Smith, Esther Pond, 1899-1988
Esther Pond Smith papers
Cage 812
Date [inclusive]
1.0 linear foot
General Physical Description note
2 boxes and 1 oversized folder
Location note
(MASC Staff Use) Oversize folders are located in the oversized stoarge boxes for Cage collections.
The Esther Pond Smith Papers contain research, notes, studies, and publications related to work simplification, time and motion, and home economics. Esther Pond Smith worked for the Extension Service and was faculty in the home economics (euthenics) department of Washington State College.

Preferred Citation note

[Item description]. Esther Pond Smith papers, 1923-1954. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical Note

Esther Elizabeth Pond Smith was born in Craig, Nebraska on December 25, 1899 to Charles and Anna Pond. In her senior year at Plainview High School in Nebraska, Smith took on a job as a rural teacher of home economics. After graduation, she enrolled at Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts in Ames, Iowa, and completed her Bachelor of Science in home economics. In 1923, Smith returned to Plainview and continued to teach home economics to families preparing to work on farms under the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917. In 1925 she returned to Iowa State College to work as the college’s Extension Clothing Specialist, and in 1928 moved into the general home management branch. In 1930, she accepted a position at the University of Wyoming in Laramie to develop a new department of home management for their extension service. However, in 1933, funding for her department was cut and she returned to Iowa State College Extension. There she started a 4-H program in home management through the Extension Service, which was the first program of its kind in the United States.

In 1935, Smith came to Pullman to become Washington State College’s Extension Economist in home management. During her time in this position, she wrote more than twenty publications for the Extension Service and was published in Kelvinator’s Kitchen Reporter. Most of her articles related to time and motion economy, and streamlining common household tasks. Smith’s work and studies are focused on domestic management, which, during her career, she studied at Columbia University and Purdue University. While at WSU, Esther collaborated with Stanley A. Smith, University Architect and professor and Head of the architectural engineering department. The pair collaborated on many Extension Bulletin publications related to home design and space requirements for maximum efficiency of tasks, and won fourth prize in the  Chicago Tribune contest for best kitchen design. Stanley and Esther were married on September 27, 1945. Esther continued to work with the Extension Service and was hired as Instructor of household equipment for WSU’s home economics (euthenics) department. During this time, Esther also received her Master’s degree from WSU in home economics. In 1945 she was appointed by the Human Nutrition and Home Economics Division of the United States Department of Agriculture to complete micro-motion studies on food preparation in farm kitchens in order to establish the most efficient arrangement of kitchen equipment.

When Stanley A. Smith retired in 1950, the couple moved to Ankara, Turkey where Stanley had been appointed architectural advisor to the Ataturk University Development Committee. When they returned to Pullman, Esther joined the Whitman County Historical Society, amassed a large collection of historic photographs of Pullman, and contributed regularly to The Bunchgrass Historian. Esther published a small book on the history of the small town where she and Mr. Smith summered (  Excelsior Beach on Lower Twin Lake, Kootenai County, Idaho, 1966). An active local historian, Esther spearheaded the project to create the artesian well replica fountain on Kamiaken Street in Pullman. Moreover, Esther was in the process of writing a book about Pullman’s history, which she never completed. Her research and photo collection were given to the Whitman Historical Society at the time of her death. Both Stanley and Esther Smith died in Pullman in 1988.

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Scope and Contents note

The Esther Pond Smith papers consists largely of research and studies on time and motion, work simplification, and ergonomics. Smith compiled magazine clippings, bulletins, journals, other people’s theses and papers, as well as her own time and motion studies, all of which she used to write Extension Service publications and USDA reports. Smith also collected the Work Simplification Newsletter from Purdue University, numbers 4-20, and  The Kitchen Reporter, published by Kelvinator, from the 1940s and 1950s, which are present in the collection. The correspondence in the collection mostly relates to home economics, extension, or work simplification events.

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Arrangement note

The Esther Pond Smith papers are arranged alphabetically by folder title.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 2014
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open and available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright restrictions apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The Esther Pond Smith papers were donated to Washington State University by Joye Dillman on June 25, 2013 (MS 2013.17).

Processing Information note

This collection was processed by Evelyn Moos in 2014.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Materials available in Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections:

Archives 167, Dean of Home Economics

Cage 138, Stanley Albert Smith papers 1954-1963

Smith, Esther Pond. Excelsior Beach on Lower Twin Lake, Kootenai County, Idaho. Call Number: F752.K8 S65 1966

Other related materials:

There is a collection of Esther Pond Smith's photographs and research materials at the Whitman County Historical Society in Washington state.

Separated Materials note

A duplicate copy of “Helps for studying motion and time in household tasks,” Extension Mimeograph #0211 was moved to WSU Publications 17, the Extension Mimeograph Series.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Washington State University -- Faculty -- Archives

Personal Name(s)

  • Smith, Esther Pond, 1899-1988 -- Archives


  • Agriculture
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Euthenics
  • Home economics -– Washington (State) -– History
  • Home economics extension work
  • Home Economists –- Archives
  • Motion study
  • Time study
  • Washington (State)
  • Women -- Education
  • Work simplification

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Bulletins on time saving by Esther Pond Smith undated 

1 1

Bulletins on time saving by various authors 1940-1950s 

1 2

Bulletins on time saving by various authors 1940s-1950s 

1 3

Home efficiency film slide lectures 1945 

1 4

Home efficiency -- miscellaneous circa 1940 

1 5

Job Methods Training 1943-1946 

1 6

The Kitchen Reporter 1940s-1950s 

1 7

A Micromotion Study of Right and Lefthanded Dishwashing circa 1950 

1 8

Motion and Time Study Workbook 1942 

1 9

Motion studies 1936-1954 

1 10

Motion study correspondence 1943-1947 

1 11

A Motion Study of the Relation between Working Units in a Kitchen 1947 

1 12

National Work Simplification Program 1943-1948 

2 13

National Work Simplification Program school materials and notes 1942-1946 

2 14

Seventh International Management Congress 1938 

2 15

Some Effects of Household Equipment on the Worker undated 

2 16

Space requirements for efficient home design 1946-1948 

2 17

A Study of the Relationships of Washing Units and Equipment in a Laundry Area 1947 

2 18

Time and motion operation charts 1943 

2 19

Time and motion studies 1923-1951 

2 20

Work simplification early ephemera 1924-1953 

2 21

Work simplification history 1933-1945 

2 22

Work Simplification Newsletter 1943-1949 

2 23