When I flipped through a hundred-year-old home economics textbook, I was surprised how young the girls in the photo looked.
I also was surprised how dense the text was on the opposite page.
I then flipped to the Preface and saw that the book was intended for use in elementary schools. (Duh – I should have known that – the book title is Elementary Home Economics). BUT, how could elementary students possibly read something so complicated?
I decided to run the middle paragraph on the page – the one that begins, “Since, then, the scientist is able to measure. . . ” – through an online Flesch Kincaid Calculator to see how readable the text was, I was floored to discover that it was written at the 15.8 grade level. Did elementary students really read this stuff in 1921?