Women on the Home Front: Hostess Houses during World War I

  • Citation: Brandimarte, Cynthia. ‚ÄúWomen on the Home Front: Hostess Houses During World War I.‚Äù Winterthur Portfolio 42, no. 4 (2008): 201‚Äì22.
    • Topics:
    • Great Power Conflict
    • Keywords:
    • Europe
    • World War I
    • hostess houses
    • Young Women‚Äôs Christian Association
    • home front

During World War I the Young Women’s Christian Association established hostess houses at American military camps and employed women as hostesses. The houses were newly constructed, large, and durable buildings, some of which were designed by women architects. They mediated public and private space and helped control interactions between soldiers and their female friends and relatives. As shelters in which the soldiers could buffer the military and find personal comfort, and as places for women to gain experience in managing complex and relatively large institutions, the hostess houses were a significant facet of the home front in World War I.

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