This educational arm of the temperance movement was the result of the efforts of Mary H. Hunt. Almost fifty years of age when she began her crusade, she worked hard to persuade educators and school boards that mandatory education on the effects of alcohol was necessary. Her suggestions were adopted by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1879.
By 1886, a national temperance education law was adopted. Mary Hunt worked to substantiate the accuracy of the claims of the physiological damage alcohol could cause. After her death and a dispute over the ownership of her property and work, the Scientific Temperance Federation (STF) was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1906. Cora Stoddard Hunt's private secretary was chosen to head this new organization.
Portrait of Mary H. Hunt.
Stoddard and the organization reached a new level of success with the presentation of a set of stereoptician slides on the effects of alcohol at the 1912 Exhibit on Alcohol and Public Health at the Washington, D.C. International Congress in Hygiene and Demography. The group took their message to the country through diagrams and charts.
An account of the temperance educational campaign, Education on Wheels, was published in the STF in 1914. Cora Stoddard said, "You can reach by this method thousands of people whom you cannot reach in any other way. But it must be teaching, not preaching." Read the full article.
Portrait of Cora Stoddard.
The American Issue Publishing Company began to print and disseminate the charts and diagrams produced by the Federation. For example, the flier below was created by the Scientific Temperance Federation and reprinted by the American Issue Publishing Company.
Title of Flyer: A Story for Book-Keepers: Alcohol and Ability to Add Figures. A hard copy of this flier can be found at the Anti-Saloon League Museum: Flier no. 53.
After 1920, the STF started studying the social effects of national prohibition which resulted in the publication of fifteen years of the Drink Question in Massachusetts. By 1933, the decline of the temperance movement had affected the Federation. They joined the Temperance Education Foundation.
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