Manuscript recipe book of Mary Baker, circa 1720.
A great deal of care went into the making of this book which
may have been a birthday or wedding gift. All of the recipes are
written in a decorative script, the title page has colored decorations,
and the book contains an alphabetical index of both food and medical
recipes. Mary Baker was given not only information that she would
need as a housewife, but also a treasure to be handed down to
her own daughters. In this way, advice would be transmitted to
Diaries, Journals, Ships' Logs Collection.
adapted to this country, and all grades of
life. Hartford: Hudson & Goodwin, 1796.
American Cookery was the first cookbook written by an American
and published in the United States. Amelia Simmons worked as a domestic
and gathered her cookery expertise from first-hand experience. She introduced
recipes that adapted traditional dishes by substituting native American
ingredients such as corn meal and squash. Simmons' "Pompkin Pudding,"
baked in a crust, is the basis for the classic American pumpkin pie.
Gift of Mrs. Thomas M. Scruggs & Margaret Cook.
Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell, 1745-1828.
A New System of Domestic Cookery: Formed upon Principles of
Economy, and Adapted to the Use of Private Families. Exeter
[N.H.]: Printed by Norris & Sawyer, 1808.
A New System of Domestic Cookery was first published in
London in 1806 and in Boston in 1807. This very popular work includes
both recipes and household management. Rundell states:
The Mistress of a family should always remember that the welfare
and good management of thehouse depends on the eye of the superior
and consequently that nothing is too trifling for her notice,
whereby waste may be avoided; and this attention is of more importance
now that the price of every necessary of life is increased to
an enormous degree.
William Andrus Alcott, 1798-1859.
The Young House-keeper, or Thoughts on Food and Cookery.
Boston: Charles D. Strong, 1851.
William Alcott, a Connecticut schoolmaster, wrote many advice
books. The author describes the book as "a work on Physical
It is intended as a means of rendering house-keepers
thinking beings, and not as they have hitherto often been, mere
pieces of mechanism; or, what is little better, the mere creatures
of habit or slaves of custom." Alcott advocates a plain style
of cooking using whole grains and warns against fried foods and
Food receipt book of Sarah K. Fotterall.
This small handwritten recipe book was kept by a woman who lived in
Pennsylvania or New York in the 1860s. It includes food and drink recipes
and herbal treatments. Also listed are compounds for killing flies,
cleaning silk, and preventing hair loss. These types of recipes are
traditionally handed down from mother to daughter and shared among neighbors.
Diaries, Journals, Ships' Logs Collection.
Warne's Every-day Cookery Book: Containing One Thousand Nine
Hundred Receipts and Other Valuable Instructions. London:
F. Warne, 1891.
Every-day Cookery was written for an audience of moderate
means. The author explains that "instructions are given in
very full detail for the convenience of inexperienced housekeepers
Cooking by Gas. London: New York: Cassell, 1910.
By 1910, gas ranges had become popular in middle-class households.
Cooks needed to learn how to regulate the gas and alter recipes.
Cooking by Gas includes many familiar recipes rewritten
for gas cooking.
Susie Root Rhodes.
The Economy Administration Cook Book. New York; London:
Syndicate Pub. Co., 1913.
The Economy Administration Cook Book is a collection of
recipes from the family of President Woodrow Wilson and other
prominent women. The recipes are accompanied by short biographies
of the woman who submitted them. The women include wives and daughters
of government officials, clubwomen, as well as some identified
The Lady's Recreation, or, The Art of Gardening Farther Improv'd.
London: Printed for E. Curll, 1719.
The Lady's Recreation focuses on flower gardening for English country
estates. The lovely frontispiece was engraved by Elisha Kirkall (fl
1720-1740), an important English printmaker.
John French Burke.
Farming for Ladies; Or, a Guide to the Poultry-yard, the Dairy
and Piggery. London: John Murray, 1844.
Burke offers both general and specific information on purchasing,
raising, and breeding birds and animals. He wrote the book for
"ladies in the middle ranks of life who are interested in
farming for pleasure or profit." Raising their own animals
would benefit both the health and economy of the family.
Mrs. S. O. Johnson.
Every Woman her own Flower Gardener. New York: Henry T. Williams,
Every Woman her own Flower Gardener is a manual for identifying
and cultivating common garden flowers. Johnson wrote with a moral purpose,
saying that "American women live in-doors too much, and thus sacrifice
their health and spirits. They cultivate neuralgia, dyspepsia, and all
their attendant ills-rather than the beautiful and glorious flowers
which God has scattered so abundantly all over the world."
Mrs. (Jane) Loudon, 1807-1858.
Gardening for Ladies; and Companion to the Flower Garden. New York:
Wiley and Putnam, 1843.
Jane Loudon readily acknowledged that she knew little about gardening
before she met her husband, John, a well-known nineteenth-century landscape
gardener and horticultural writer. She claimed that reading books on
the subject was useless because they were too technical. Loudon wrote
Gardening for Ladies in simple, clear language, presenting sensible
and original ideas on how to grow flowers and demonstrating that gardening
was a fitting avocation for ladies. Her book included personal sketches
and stories-a casual approach that appealed to the public.
Harriet Martineau, 1802-1876.
Our Farm of Two Acres. New York: Bunce and Huntington, 1865.
Harriet Martineau was a journalist and writer whose subjects ranged
from religion to political economy to abolition. She was especially
concerned about the treatment of women and argued for an improvement
in women's education, so that "marriage need not be their only object
in life." Marineau spent eleven years on a miniature farm before writing
this article which was aimed at women on small incomes. She believed
that women could provide food for themselves as well as benefit physically,
mentally, and spiritually.
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