V-"An Experiment and What Came of It" - Helen Campbell - Sunday Afternoon

V-"An Experiment and What Came of It" - Helen Campbell - Sunday Afternoon

by: Helen Campbell | publication date: June 1, 1879 | Publication: Sunday Afternoon | pages: 537-544

"We're going home, we're going home,
We're going home to-morrow!"

Now these words, sung intermittently, and each note as if pumped out by an exceedingly active little high-pressure steamengine, meant work, and hard work too. Down the dark and creaking stairs, and through all the smells and sounds of the tall tenement-house, their ring seemed to call one on, and the crippled boy at the door of the back room on the third floor beat time with his crutch as he stood, and forgot to scowl as I passed. Up one more flight and in at the open door, and this is what I saw: a room, like all the rooms in these great houses, with low ceiling, dirty walls, rough floor, opening at the back into a dark bedroom; if of the better class, into two or three, but all depending for sunshine and air upon the two windows in the front. In this case there was but one bedroom, and the sick, heavy smell of unwashed bedding and equally unwashed human beings made a sort of fog, which with the steam from the little clothes-boiler on the stove filled the rooms and the hall as well.

In this article, Campbell takes it upon herself to teach the daughters of a family how to cook a high quality, but inexpensive meal. Campbell's articles published in Sunday Afternoon magazine were later collected, along with those from Lippincott's Magazine, in a book titled "Problems of the Poor" (1888).

Public domain, online article.