The Cornelia Club
Los Angeles, 1944
The Cornelia Club was founded in 1935 as an offshoot of the Mother’s Education Center Paidology Club, by members whose children had outgrown the infant-oriented child development lessons of the Paidology Club, but who still wanted to socialize and learn together. As an offshoot of the Padiology Club, the organization was able to immediately join the Federation of Women’s Clubs. By the following year, it had 150 members.
The aim of the Club, as outlined to the LA times in 1936, was to “become better understanding mothers, more joyous homemakers, and more clear-visioned citizens.” They regularly met at the Harvard Playground recreation center in South LA. The area is now the Jackie Tatum Recreation Center, named after the first female and first black head of the City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation.
This Cornelia Club is an early example of a club focus solely on parenthood, rather than under the umbrella of a preexisitng community like a Church or a School District. Other mothers group cook books exist in this archive, including one from the California Congress of Parents And Teachers (early PTA) and the Pasadena Mother’s Club.