Russell Sage Foundation 1907-1946

Russell Sage Foundation 1907-1946: volumes 1 and 2

John M. Glenn
Lilian Brandt
F. Emerson Andrews
Copyright Date: 1947
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 786
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Russell Sage Foundation 1907-1946
    Book Description:

    This history covers the first forty years of Russell Sage Foundation's efforts toward "the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States of America." It records the things that were done, both as direct work and through grants, with considerable attention to the social situation which made them seen necessary or desirable. It is of value not only to those interested in the operation of the Russell Sage Foundation or other foundatons, but for the light it throws upon the origins and development of a wide variety of movements in the borad field of social science.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-830-7
    Subjects: Sociology, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xv)

      (pp. xv-xvi)
      (pp. xvii-xviii)
      John M. Glenn

        (pp. 3-12)

        RUSSELL SAGE died on July 22, 1906. During a long life he acquired a large fortune. Except for a few minor bequests, he left his entire fortune, amounting to about $65,000,000, to his wife, with no restrictions as to its use. Mrs. Sage immediately began giving away the millions that he had painstakingly accumulated. During the twelve remaining years of her life she gave about $35,000,000, and by her will bequeathed over $36,000,000, to charitable, religious, and educational institutions.

        The Sage fortune was given away as painstakingly as it had been built up. Appeals from individuals and all kinds of...

        (pp. 13-25)

        FOUNDATIONS were still a novelty in America. There were only eight in existence in 1907—only two with a capital fund equal to that of Russell Sage Foundation, and none was active in its field.¹ The announcement of its creation caused much more of a flurry than it would today. In the daily press it received a relatively large amount of space and enthusiastic editorial comment. Teachers of the social sciences felt encouraged. Social workers saw in it practically boundless resources for the kind of work they thought was most needed.

        Newspaper writers² in New York and other cities immediately...

        (pp. 26-38)

        THANKS to the preliminary thought that had been given to the work of the Foundation by its vice-president and other trustees, their knowledge of the field and their associations; thanks also to the existence of agencies that already had some experience in research and propaganda, and perhaps to finding a director without any delay, Russell Sage Foundation got away to a fast start.

        One of the questions of policy that demanded immediate consideration, said Mr. de Forest to the Trustees at their first meeting, was the “further limitations of scope which the Trustees must impose on themselves to prevent scattering...


      • IV GENERAL VIEW: 1907-1917
        (pp. 41-56)

        WHEN the tenth anniversary of Russell Sage Foundation arrived on April 19, 1917, the United States had recently entered the World War. In sending greetings to Mrs. Sage, the Executive Committee, besides referring to the current situation, linked the date with an earlier event in the nation’s history: “By a happy coincidence,” the Committee wrote, “a new interest was added to the nineteenth of April, the birthday of American independence, when it became also the birthday of the Russell Sage Foundation…. On behalf of the Trustees of the Foundation, we send you these flowers in most grateful remembrance of all...

      • [Illustrations]
        (pp. None)
        (pp. 57-69)

        WITHIN a few years after the Foundation was established most of the fields it has thus far (to 1946) elected to cultivate by its own staff were represented by departments, or units called by some other name. The general process of selection has been described in the preceding chapter. In the following pages developments are traced as nearly as possible in chronological order.

        Several of the fields had a preliminary period of cultivation under other auspices, with the help of grants from the Foundation, before they were taken over by the Foundation. In retrospect such preliminary periods have been regarded...

      • VI RECREATION: 1907-1917
        (pp. 70-84)

        ALTHOUGH the Department of Recreation was not the first department established, the Committee on Playground Extension, from which it developed, was the Foundation’s first venture in sustained work of its own.

        Through the first decade the work in recreation was primarily promotion—promotion of ideas and promotion of organizations to make the ideas effective. The earlier years were devoted largely to studying and fostering the development of particular activities. From 1914 until the regular work of the Department was suspended for participation in the war, the major interest was the planning of rounded community programs of recreation.

        When Mr. Hanmer,...

      • VII EDUCATION: 1907-1917
        (pp. 85-96)

        THE FOUNDATION’S studies in the problems of elementary schools, which began in November, 1907, simultaneously with the propaganda for playgrounds, went on as one of the co-ordinate divisions of the Department of Child Hygiene and then, from January, 1913, as an independent division. They were carried on by Leonard P. Ayres, under the general supervision, for the first few years, of Dr. Gulick.

        From the beginning the object of these studies was “to discover facts, develop methods, and formulate procedures” that would “aid educators to substitute knowledge for opinion, and to base action on evidence rather than on tradition or...

      • VIII CHILD HYGIENE: 1909-1912
        (pp. 97-101)

        DURING its brief existence the so-called Department of Child Hygiene, the third department created, embraced the work in Recreation and in Education and also Dr. Gulick’s miscellaneous activities, which were chiefly related to health—health of adults as well as of children.¹ Dr. Gulick’s contributions to the Divisions of Recreation and Education are covered in the preceding pages. This chapter reviews the other work of the Department, the special activities of the director.

        Dr. Gulick was a brilliant man of many ideas, of great enthusiasm and persuasive ability. His proposals for new undertakings crowded one another faster than they could...

      • IX CHILD-HELPING: 1908-1917
        (pp. 102-114)

        THE FIRST department authorized (February 8, 1909) and the first one organized (May 1, 1909) was the Department of Child-Helping.¹ Its work had already begun on April 1, 1908, when Dr. Hart joined the staff of the Foundation on a year’s engagement.

        Its comprehensive aim was “to promote improved methods of dealing with dependent, neglected, and delinquent children throughout the United States.” To this end it tried “to keep informed as to the latest and most efficient developments … and to place that information at the service of those who are actively engaged in such work.” It made general studies...

      • X SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS: 1908-1917
        (pp. 115-124)

        SOON after the appropriation for a field survey of the Southern Highlands had been made, John C. Campbell began to make plans for carrying out his ideas.

        Preliminary to a field study, the summer of 1908 was devoted to conferences and interviews with members of the Country Life Commission appointed by President Roosevelt, federal and southern state officials whose departments were meeting rural needs, superintendents of mountain mission boards, and faculties of southern universities and colleges in and adjoining the mountain country.

        In the fall of that year the actual survey began. During the latter part of 1908 and the...

      • XI CHARITY ORGANIZATION: 1909-1917
        (pp. 125-135)

        FOR THE first two years after beginning work on October 1, 1909, the Charity Organization Department was occupied mainly with carrying forward the extension activities of the Field Department of Charities and the Commons, which had been supported for two years by grants from the Foundation before it was integrated with the direct work. At the same time beginnings were made in research, teaching, and writing.

        In the two years of active propaganda by the Field Department (1907–1909) and the first two years of the Charity Organization Department (1909–1911) 47 new societies were established, 17 existing societies¹ were...

      • XII REMEDIAL LOANS: 1909-1917
        (pp. 136-151)

        WHEN Arthur H. Ham became a member of the staff of the Foundation on August 1, 1909, his assignment was “to make a study of the Remedial Loan Associations in this country, to give advice to societies already established as to methods of work, and to give advice to those who wish to know about the formation of new societies.”

        Remedial loan associations were limited-dividend companies that lent money in small amounts at rates high enough to cover legitimate costs of operation and to yield a fair return on the capital invested, but no higher. They exemplified the principle of...

        (pp. 152-170)

        IN NOVEMBER, 1910, when the Committee on Women’s Work became an integral part of the Foundation, it had in view a comprehensive survey of the conditions of employment of girls and women in New York City. Three parts of such a survey—studies in the bookbinding and millinery trades and the making of artificial flowers—were already well advanced, and plans had been made to collect information from the girls attending public evening schools in the city for the help it would give in deciding what other intensive investigations would be most useful and for the light it might throw...

      • XIV STATISTICS: 1911-1917
        (pp. 171-176)

        ALTHOUGH the Division of Statistics was not established until October, 1912, its work began under a less formal arrangement a year earlier, when Mr. Ayres, in addition to his responsibilities as director of the Division of Education, undertook to supervise and edit the statistical features of the Foundation’s studies. To assist him a statistician was added to the staff. The first appointment was temporary. In February, 1912, Earle Clark was named to the position, which he filled until September, 1917.

        The primary functions of the Division, at the time it was established, were to scrutinize the statistical material in all...

      • XV SURVEYS AND EXHIBITS: 1912-1917
        (pp. 177-196)

        LIKE Child-Helping and Charity Organization, Surveys and Exhibits began as a full-grown department. Its scope and methods had been defined in advance. Its director and his associate were experienced. A demand for such services as it offered had already accumulated. Its budget of $15,000 was less than the $25,000 that had been considered a norm for the major departments but it was anticipated that this would be supplemented by contributions of service from other departments and that the cost of surveys and exhibits made under its direction (except for the salaries of department staff) would be met largely by their...

      • XVI LIBRARY: 1911-1917
        (pp. 197-203)

        IT WAS taken for granted at the outset that the Foundation would need a library, both for the use of its own staff and as a factor in becoming “a center of information.” For the first few years the library of the Charity Organization Society, in the same building as the general offices of the Foundation, served the purpose.

        This collection, begun in 1882 when the Society was founded, had grown gradually at first, then rapidly after the establishment of the School of Philanthropy, which in 1907 was made responsible for its administration. In 1904–1905 the library of the...

      • [Illustration]
        (pp. None)
        (pp. 204-221)

        IN THE Foundation’s charter “publication” is named second only to “research” among the means it might be expected to employ in improving social and living conditions in America. The educators and social workers whose views were sought by the Trustees before adopting a program urged the importance of spreading information in every possible way. Mr. de Forest and Mr. Gilman specified publication in various forms as of primary importance. In Mr. Glenn’s view “the first object … should be investigation; the next education, chiefly by publication.”

        Printed material about social conditions and social work in America was scanty in 1907....

      • XVIII GRANTS: 1907-1917
        (pp. 222-242)

        HUNDREDS of applications for grants were received by the Foundation in its first few years. At the end of 1909 the director reported there had been about 800, including some duplications. A large proportion came from scattered local societies and institutions, schools and colleges, settlements and clubs, hospitals, libraries, museums, churches, missions and other kinds of agencies that were outside the scope of the Foundation as delimited by the Trustees. Others were from individuals who offered manuscripts for publication or who wished to make investigations. Some were from national associations with an object that might be within the Foundation’s scope,...


      • XIX WAR SERVICE: 1917-1919
        (pp. 245-264)

        IN THE spring of 1917, when it seemed probable that the United States would soon be engaged in the European conflict, the staff of Russell Sage Foundation began considering what help it could offer the government in case of need. On March 20, before the President had declared that a state of war existed between the United States and Germany, Mr. Glenn and Mr. Ayres went to Washington to consult the Secretary of War, the director of the Council of National Defense, and the director-general of Civilian Relief of the American Red Cross. From their interviews they concluded that the...


      • XX GENERAL VIEW: 1917-1931
        (pp. 267-280)

        AFTER 1917 the Foundation’s history does not conveniently divide into decades. Its second period ends more naturally in 1931 than in 1927. Mr. de Forest died in the spring of 1931 and Mr. Glenn retired as general director in the fall. By that time, furthermore, the great depression was affecting the work of the Foundation in various ways.

        Mrs. Sage died on November 4, 1918, not long after her ninetieth birthday and just a week before the armistice. Miss Cecilia Beaux was commissioned to paint the beautiful portrait of her that hangs in East Hall of the Foundation. The memorial...

        (pp. 281-295)

        WITHIN a few years after the close of the war three of the early departments of the Foundation were discontinued: the Division of Southern Highlands and the Department of Education because of the loss of their directors, by death and by resignation respectively; the Department of Child-Helping because of Dr. Hart’s desire to devote himself to another field of work within the scope of the Foundation. A new department, established to continue the legislative studies of the Department of Child-Helping and develop them to include social legislation in general, ran its course within a year, coming to an end because...

        (pp. 296-308)

        DR. HART’S “working time” lasted seven years after his change of title in the fall of 1924. In July of 1931 he had a serious operation. He recovered sufficiently to do a little work in the fall, but his health failed through the winter and he died on May 9, 1932, in his eighty-first year.

        Through his years as consultant in delinquency and penology, Dr. Hart kept his characteristic youthful vigor of spirit. He welcomed each problem brought to him as a fresh adventure and was always looking ahead eagerly to projects he himself had in mind. As late as...

        (pp. 309-320)

        MISS RICHMOND’S health, never robust, began to fail perceptibly from the summer of 1918. In the years that remained she was obliged increasingly to husband her strength and to limit her undertakings to those that seemed to her most important and within her physical powers. She died on September 12, 1928, after several years of rapidly diminishing strength and months of acute suffering at the end.

        The last year of her life and the two following years—to the fall of 1930—were an interval between two distinct periods in the Charity Organization Department. Mr. Hall continued as associate director...

      • XXIV RECREATION: 1919-1931
        (pp. 321-335)

        DURING the thirty months that Mr. Hanmer and Mr. Perry were engaged in war work, normal activities of the Department of Recreation were well-nigh suspended. Information was given to inquirers as far as possible, pamphlets in stock were distributed on request, and the lantern-slide service was kept up, but nothing was done to stimulate demands. No new publications were issued, no studies made, no surveys undertaken. Most of the time of the office staff, and much of the office space, was used for war work in which the director and the associate director were engaged.

        After their return from Washington...

      • XXV REMEDIAL LOANS: 1918-1931
        (pp. 336-350)

        FOR SEVERAL years after the war the Division¹ of Remedial Loans was relatively inactive. No director was appointed immediately to take the place of Arthur H. Ham. Miss Caro D. Coombs, secretary of the Division, returned to the staff in January, 1919, at first only for part time but for full time after June. Walter S. Hilborn and his partner, David J. Gallert, were retained to represent the Foundation in connection with small loan legislation as occasion should arise. Mr. Hilborn was appointed acting director in 1920, but he still gave only part of his time to the work of...


    • [Middle Matter]
      (pp. i-iv)
      (pp. v-x)
      (pp. 351-376)

      AFTER the war the content of the work done in the Department of Surveys and Exhibits gradually changed, until in 1931 its name no longer described its activities. By that time participation in surveys had become limited to consultation and the publication of material on survey methods. Work on exhibits had broadened to include various kinds of publicity techniques applicable to social work, and thence to study of the larger problem of interpretation of social work. The addition of Allen Eaton to the staff in 1920 as assistant to Mr. Harrison brought in a new interest—beauty as an element...

      (pp. 377-397)

      DURING the period of reduced activity caused by demands of the war on Miss van Kleeck and members of her staff the Division of Industrial Studies, with Mr. Harrison as acting director, carried forward work under way, bringing some of it to completion.

      The study of conditions among Italian working women in New York City, begun in 1911 and interrupted in 1913, was completed and published.¹ This was the fifth and last of the series on women’s work in New York City. It was not merely a description of conditions affecting a relatively small group of Italian women in a...

    • XXVIII STATISTICS: 1919-1931
      (pp. 398-421)

      WHEN Colonel Ayres returned from government service in October, 1919, the Division of Statistics resumed work after two and a half years of inactivity. Ralph G. Hurlin, who had been with Colonel Ayres in the Statistics Branch of the General Staff in Washington, as chief of the reports section with the rank of major, was engaged as statistician. In January, 1920, the Division was designated “Department.” On the resignation of Colonel Ayres from the Foundation, at the end of 1920, Mr. Hurlin was appointed director of the Department.

      Its primary function continued to be supervision of the statistical work done...

    • XXIX LIBRARY: 1918-1931
      (pp. 422-427)

      CONTINUING development of resources, clientele, and usefulness, by means of policies and procedures established in earlier years, characterized the course of the Library between the war and the great depression. Until the last two years of the period growth was steady and sure rather than spectacular.

      Mr. Jenkins returned from government service in January, 1919. Early in the twenties he contracted an illness from which he never recovered. After a period of increasingly limited activity, he definitely retired in the fall of 1929.¹

      Fortunately, when Mr. Jenkins became incapacitated he had a staff of assistants who not only were proficient...

    • XXX PUBLICATIONS: 1918-1931
      (pp. 428-437)

      IN THE fourteen years of this second period the Foundation published 37 clothbound books compared with 47 in the first decade. Pamphlets were fewer than in the earlier years, but a number of them were the equivalent of books, though issued in paper covers.¹ The twelve volumes reporting the Regional Survey and Plan of New York and Its Environs, initiated and entirely financed by Russell Sage Foundation, were issued between 1927 and 1931, at the expense of the Foundation but not under its imprint.

      All but two of the 37 books published in this period were written by members of...

      (pp. 438-451)

      FROM its earliest years the Foundation had shown its interest in housing and city planning by making grants to educational agencies in those fields and for experiments in reducing the cost of construction of small houses. It had supplied the capital for planning and building a model suburban community on Long Island. In 1921 it undertook to survey the entire New York metropolitan region and prepare a plan for its physical development that would serve for years to come as a guide in making it “a better place to live in and a better place to work in.”¹ It was...

    • XXXII GRANTS: 1918-1931
      (pp. 452-482)

      ABOUT $4,000,000 was given in grants to 62 organizations in the fourteen years of this second period of the Foundation’s history, compared with nearly $1,800,000 to 47 organizations in its first ten and one-half years. Nine of the 62 had received grants before October 1, 1917, including the three that accounted for about half of the total disbursement to other agencies in the opening period. Fifty-three were added to the list between October 1, 1917, and September 30, 1931. Although none of these 53 had previously received grants of money, a few had been helped materially with free office space...


      • XXXIII GENERAL VIEW: 1932-1946
        (pp. 485-501)

        THE FINAL period of this record began in September, 1931, when Shelby M. Harrison became the Foundation’s second general director, and extends to October, 1946. It was a period of upheaval, socially and politically. The nation was already in the grip of a depression, the severity and length of which were then unguessed. Only partial recovery had occurred when war broke out in Europe, instituting in America a defense period which shortly gave way to the violent exertions and adjustments of global, all-out war, on a scale without parallel. The period ended in October, 1946, with the United Nations ready...

      • XXXIV RECREATION: 1932-1937
        (pp. 502-513)

        AS HIS department was beginning its final period, Mr. Hanmer wrote: “The enlarging conception of recreation is constantly widening the scope of this department’s work. We have proceeded from play for children to athletics for youth and adults of both sexes, and to music, dramatics, and the whole range of cultural arts, as resources for the constructive and satisfying use of free time.”

        These words summarized rather well the expanding interests which two earlier chapters have recorded. His next sentence was prophetic of the final period in a sense he neither desired nor intended: “Leisure is no longer the gift...

        (pp. 514-530)

        IN NOVEMBER, 1928, two months after the death of the Department’s founder, Miss Richmond, Miss Joanna C. Colcord was appointed director of the Charity Organization Department. She was not able to assume her office, however, until the following August, and much of her first year was occupied with preparation of The Long View, a collection of the papers of Miss Richmond, with biographical notes.

        Certain plans and even beginnings had been made toward a new program for the Department, but these were soon swept aside by the strong winds of national events. The period of this chapter, which begins in...

        (pp. 531-548)

        THE DEPARTMENT of Remedial Loans did not officially change its name: to Department of Consumer Credit Studies until February, 1938, but this change in name reflected only belatedly a progressive broadening in sphere of interest that began in 1929. Previously, its activities centered around the promotion and enforcement of small loan laws and the development of low-cost loan agencies, especially remedial loan associations and credit unions. In the late twenties the Department was impressed with the increasing interrelation between the small loan problem and other areas of consumer credit, such as industrial banking, the personal loan departments of banks, charge...

        (pp. 549-565)

        EARLIER chapters have recorded the development of the Department of Industrial Studies from the Committee on Women’s Work which first received a grant from the Foundation in 1908 to the status of a full department of the Foundation, and the broadening of its scope from studies of industrial conditions, particularly among women, to studies of industrial relations between workers and management. The Industrial Relations Series, recording these latter studies, was not limited to labor relations in single companies,¹ some of which, under the name of employes’ representation, were later known as company unions, but also included collective agreements between trade...

        (pp. 566-583)

        By 1932 the long-established Department of Surveys and Exhibits was in process of a three-way division. Functionally, the division had already occurred; official recognition came more gradually, through naming of three distinct departments: the Department of Arts and Social Work, the Department of Social Work Interpretation, and the Department of Surveys.

        Work in the social survey was largely suspended during this period. Mr. Harrison, who had become general director of the Foundation, was no longer able to conduct the pathfinding field surveys which had once characterized the work of his Department of Surveys and Exhibits. He was, however, a member...

      • XXXIX ARTS AND SOCIAL WORK: 1932-1946
        (pp. 584-597)

        IN THE introduction to each of his annual reports, Mr. Eaton states that “the purpose of the Department of Arts and Social Work is to study the influence of the arts in everyday living, and to bring a larger measure of beauty, either created or enjoyed, into the lives of all people.”

        To an extent unusual even in the Foundation, this department is the lengthened shadow of special talents and interests of an individual, Allen Eaton. Its official history is relatively brief, for the activities which Mr. Eaton had long been conducting became a separate department only in 1941; yet...

      • XL SOCIAL WORK YEAR BOOK: 1932-1946
        (pp. 598-604)

        AN EARLIER chapter¹ has recorded Fred S. Hall’s original proposal in 1928 for a “Social Work Annual and Who’s Who,” modifications of this idea, and the appearance in the fall of 1930 of the first volume of the Social Work Year Book, based on these altered concepts. When the book was named, annual publication was contemplated, as its title implies. This ambitious program was soon abandoned, however, and the Preface to the very first volume proposed biennial publication, which has been the practice since 1933. This initial volume, too, established the general content pattern for its successors, with a first...

      • XLI STATISTICS: 1932-1946
        (pp. 605-617)

        THROUGHOUT the period represented by this chapter the Department of Statistics remained under the direction of Ralph G. Hurlin. Its activities continued to include assistance to other departments of the Foundation on statistical portions of their work, preparation of its own statistical studies, and service to outside agencies, which ranged from isolated interviews and memberships on committees to full responsibility for conducting extensive surveys. The general pattern did not greatly differ from preceding years, but the onset of the severe depression brought unusual demands upon the Department.

        During most of this period a series of studies in professions was conducted...

        (pp. 618-627)

        THE Department of Studies in the Professions is the youngest of the Foundation’s departments, being given official status in October, 1944. Like several other departments, it had its roots in the work of an individual which grew to an importance meriting department status.

        Miss Esther Lucile Brown was one of two assistants employed by Mr. Hurlin when he was preparing, with Meredith B. Givens, a chapter on “Shifting Occupational Patterns” for the President’s Research Committee on Social Trends. Miss Brown had earned her doctorate in social anthropology at Yale University, was for several years an assistant professor in the University...

      • XLIII The Library: 1932-1946
        (pp. 628-634)

        THE FOUNDATION Library underwent no major changes until nearly the end of the period covered by this chapter. Mrs. Bertha F. Hulseman remained librarian until her retirement in October, 1941, continuing the policies which had contributed to its growth in size, service, and esteem during the twenty-seven years of her membership on the Library staff, for fourteen of which she was in active charge as librarian or acting librarian. She was succeeded by Mrs. Mabel Badcock, until she in turn reached retirement age, having concluded over thirty years of service in the Library by the time of her retirement in...

      • [Illustration]
        (pp. None)
      • XLIV PUBLICATIONS: 1932-1946
        (pp. 635-645)

        THE Publication Department remained under the direction of F. Emerson Andrews throughout the period covered by this chapter. General policies for the wider distribution of Foundation studies which had been earlier instituted were further developed, with adaptation to the special conditions of depression, and then of war.

        In the fifteen years of this period the Foundation published 42 cloth-bound books; under many definitions, four of the more lengthy and substantial pamphlets of the period would be added to this book total. All but five of these books were issued under regular departmental auspices, and the conditions surrounding their preparation and...

      • XLV GRANTS: 1932-1946
        (pp. 646-664)

        ONLY 19 of the 61 agencies receiving grants in this third period of the Foundation’s history were added to the list since 1931, not much more than one a year. The others originated earlier. Thirty-six had begun in the second period, after 1917. Six went back to the earliest days, three of them to the very first year of 1907. A number of these agencies, however, had reorganized their programs in the period, and a few had added important new features to their work.

        This was a period of diminishing expenditures for grants. The peak had been reached in 1928–...


      (pp. 667-668)
    • APPENDIX B Trustees, Officers, and Directors of Departments
      (pp. 669-674)
      (pp. 675-684)
      (pp. 685-702)
  6. INDEX
    (pp. 703-746)