Championing public health
F.L. Calder College - Liverpool Training School for Cookery.
The remarkable story of F.L. Calder College shows how a small group of women had a profound effect on the importance of women's roles in society and led to the establishment of domestic science as a recognised academic subject.
The Liverpool Training School for Cookery was founded in 1875 by Miss Fanny Louisa Calder and her ‘Committee of Ladies’, and it began as a direct result of Calder’s philanthropic work with the poor of Liverpool. Calder played a very significant role in establishing training for domestic science teachers in Liverpool and increasingly nationwide. One of her staunchest supporters, Florence Nightingale, called her the Patron of the Laundry, Cooking and Health… listen here to find out what she thought of Calder’s work.
Undoubtedly, Calder was the initiator of, and most significant campaigner for, the recognition and establishment of domestic science in education at all levels. She also helped bring about a revolution in attitudes to education, to women’s roles in and beyond the domestic sphere, and in untold social reform and benefit.
LJMU continues her campaign for social reform and equality, embracing commercial and public spheres too, extending Calder’s original remit far beyond domestic life and the role of women. Through our Public Health Institute, LJMU is helping bring significant benefits in public health, locally, nationally and globally, work which Calder would no doubt see as an extension of her campaign for social reform and equality.
Students in 1955.
Calder helped reform views on women's roles in society.
Florence Nightingale called Calder the Siant of Laundry, Cooking and Health.
Calder's War Cake recipe provided you could still make a tasty cake in spite of rationing.
Fanny Louise Calder (1838-1923)
Fanny Calder was born into a Liverpool family who lived in Rodney Street. She undertook charitable work with the poor, but soon realised that this work was not enough to address social inequality and poverty. Decent food and an understanding of domesticity were, she felt, the first steps needed to rectify the situation, so she started classes with a group of like-minded women in 1875.
She played a significant role in establishing training for domestic science teachers in Liverpool, and increasingly nationally. In 1897, the Women’s Education Movement was founded, and she linked this to the Association of Teachers of Domestic Science. In 1903, she was invited to join the Liverpool Education Committee, receiving an honorary MA degree a decade later in recognition of her work.
Calder undoubtedly was the initiator of, and most significant campaigner for, the recognition and establishment of domestic science in education at all levels. She also helped bring about a revolution in attitudes to education, to women’s roles in and beyond the domestic sphere, and in untold social reform and benefit.