The Laboratory School and the Context of Progressive Era Experimentation
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When composing letters to Gerard Swope, her future husband, Mary Hill surely wrote for him, and not for posterity. But while her letters are privately reflective, they are also engaged with the public events and ideas of her time; thus they provide an intimate gaze into the “circle of friends” surrounding the Laboratory School and Hull House.1 In one of her letters to Swope, Hill captured the experimental atmosphere of Progressive Era Chicago and the nation: “Nothing but living can ever prove any thing.”2
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