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USDA Time-Use Studies

Research Tools

Louise Stanley (1883-1954)

Louise Stanley

We need...to know what equipment is going to help the homemaker most. Time studies will show us this.

-- Stanley, Louise (1926). "The Development of better farm homes. Agricultural Engineering. Volume 7. p. 129.

The USDA Time-Use Studies used several tools for data collection. The aim of these studies was to determine if there was any direct relationship between the number and types of household appliances, such as vacuum cleaners, and amenities, such as electricity, to the amount of time homemakers spent doing their daily jobs of cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing.

The staff of the Bureau surveyed rural and urban homemakers and asked them to collect detailed data on the way they spent their time as they went about their work.

The following items show the data collection tools used in these studies. Some materials changed a bit over time, so multiple versions are shown.

(Click any image to access full-text)


Daily Time Record of Homemaker

Daily Time Record of Homemaker (1925)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Home Economics

Each small space between the hours on the "clock" represents five minutes. Begin this day's record by drawing a line on "A. M. clock" from outer to inner circles at time of arising. At end of time given to the next activity draw another line, and in space between lines describe this activity. Continue in this way changing to "P. M. clock" at noon and accounting for all of the 24 hours of the day.

Read separate "Instructions" carefully before beginning record.


Instructions for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers

Instructions for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers (n.d.)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Home Economics

The record should cover a period of one week (7 consecutive days including Sunday). Choose a week which will be typical of your daily and weekly activities, not one in which you are doing something unusual which interferes greatly with your daily and weekly routine, as papering the house.


Supplementary Information for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers

Supplementary Information for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers (n.d.)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Home Economics

 


Instructions for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers

Instructions for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers (1926)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Home Economics

The record should cover a period of one week (7 consecutive days including Sunday). Choose a week which will be typical of your daily and weekly activities, not one in which you are doing something unusual, as papering the house, which interferes greatly with your daily and weekly routine.


Supplementary Information for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers

Supplementary Information for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers (1926)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Home Economics


Instructions for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers

Instructions for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers (1928)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Home Economics

The record should cover a period of one week (7 consecutive days including Sunday). Choose a week which will be typical of your daily and weekly activities, not one in which you are doing something unusual, as papering the house, which interferes greatly with your daily and weekly routine.


Instructions for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers

Instructions for Study of Use of Time by Homemakers (1931)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Home Economics

BEFORE STARTING YOUR RECORDS STUDY CAREFULLY THE DIRECTIONS GIVEN BELOW AND DIRECTIONS AND ENTRIES ON SAMPLE BLANKS. WHEN YOU FINISH EACH RECORD GO OVER IT AGAIN TO SURE THAT IT IS COMPLETE AND EVERY ENTRY IS PROPERLY MADE. THE IMPORTANCE OF FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS CANNOT BE OVEREMPHASIZED.