Mathilde Hader - Autobiography, 1800-1979

Overview of the Collection

Hader, Mathilde
Mathilde Hader - Autobiography
1800-1979 (inclusive)
1 File (1 folder)
Collection Number
OPVSIEmss_32 (collection)
Transcript of interview of Mathilde Hader, born Mathilde Georgine Chistiansen, July 25, 1897, in Oslo, Norway. She recounts details of her family history and the story of her life and her career as a teacher and home economist in Norway and the United States. She worked as the first executive secretary for Consumer's Research, taught at New York University, and held a master's degree from Columbia University. She died February 18, 1988, in Silver Springs, Maryland.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington 98447
Telephone: (253) 535-7586
Fax: (253) 535-7315
Access Restrictions

The autobiography is available for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Mathilde Georgine Christiansen Hader was born July 25, 1897, in Christiania (Oslo), Norway, and grew up in Tønsberg. Her father, who from 1922-1927 was a member of the Norwegian Storting (Parliament), had told his daughter that he would pay for her education but that she would have to support herself. As a young woman, a book by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, titled "The Home : Its Work and Influence", inspired her to study home economics as a means of work simplification. Mathilde had always felt that Norwegian women were too tied to their homes and kitchens. She attended a finishing school in Copenhagen, spent a year at Kings College for Women in London, and then trained to become a home economist at Stabbekk, a teachers' college of home economics just outside Oslo. She took a teaching job there in 1924.

Deciding that she could learn more about her chosen field in the United States, she left Norway in March, 1925, arriving in the States in time to attend the inauguration of President Calvin Coolidge. After a tour of the United States, she returned to teaching in Norway, where she also did lab work comparing the quality of different electric ovens. In 1926 she returned to New York, married John Hader, and took a job as a nutritionist with the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor. Soon afterward she began studying for her master's degree at the Columbia University Teachers' College, and around the same time she began teaching at New York University. She made the acquaintance of consumer advocates Stuart Chase and Fred Schlink, authors of "Your Money's Worth : a Study in the Waste of the Consumer's Dollar," and when they founded Consumers' Research she became their first executive secretary. Her husband also worked part time for Consumers' Research.

In the 1950s in Norway Mathilde started a group of homemakers working on principles of work simplification, and later started a course on that subject which was offered in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia. With her Norwegian editor she also collaborated on a booklet on Work Simplification for Homemakers which was translated into Finnish and Icelandic.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection consists of the transcript of an interview with noted home economist Mathilde Hader. This interview was conducted July 22, 1979. Mathilde's husband John asked the questions and the recorded interview was later transcribed.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Archives and Special Collections Department at Pacific Lutheran University. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or quote from (the collection) must be submitted to the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

The Mathilde Hader autobiography, "Mathilde Recalls", OPVSIEmss_32, Archives and Special Collections, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Collection

Box 2, file 18

Custodial History

Transcript of interview of Mathilde Hader, taped July 22, 1979, with her husband acting as interviewer.


"The Home : its Work and Influence" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1903

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • College teachers
  • Home economics teachers
  • Home economics
  • Norway -- Emigration and immigration
  • Shipping
  • Teachers colleges

Personal Names

  • Chase, Stuart, 1888-1985
  • Hader, Mathilde Georgine Christiansen--Archives
  • Schlink, F. J.; 1891-1995. ; (Frederick John)
  • Valstad, Otto

Corporate Names

  • Morgenbladet
  • New York University
  • H. Aschehoug & co. (W. Nygaard)
  • Wilh. Wilhelmsen (Firm)
  • Columbia University
  • Consumer Reports (Firm)
  • International House (New York, N.Y.)
  • King's College London

Family Names

  • Hader family

Geographical Names

  • Flekkefjord (Norway)
  • Hibernia (N.J.)
  • Larvik (Norway)
  • Løkken (Norway)
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • Oslo (Norway)
  • Sandefjord (Norway)
  • Silver Spring (Md.)
  • Tønsberg (Norway)
  • Washington (D.C.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Autobiography


  • College teaching
  • Legislators

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Hader, John (creator)