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The May Breakfast Brigade Part 1

The May Breakfast Brigade Part 1

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

This week we continue to share stories from 1930s and early 1940s WPA Great Depression era food sources housed in the Library of Congress archives. This week’s story delves into a new England May breakfast tradition. Dating back to the 19th century, for wives and mothers in New England Spring meant preparation of the family garden and organizing a large community May breakfast. This week's story is about the women of the Phelps family in an un-specified community in Connecticut. It centers around Elizabeth Phelps Bradley who worked at the Strafford Loudspeakers Inc. factory producing wire coils in a large room surrounded by largely young immigrant women. Elizabeth works in the factory but she self identifies as a gifted cook and event planner—The Leader of the May Breakfast Brigade.  Rhoda Cameron, a retired actress from Louisiana, is the WPA project writer who collected and documented the story, does a wonderful job unpacking the May breakfast tradition, its relationship to the Phelps women, and their family’s history which dates back to 1635 Connecticut. Each day this week will chip away providing readers with the essentials of the story in a paraphrased format when necessary and indirect quotes as often as possible.

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The May Breakfast Brigade Part 2

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