New York State Library
NYSL Facebook page NYSL Instagram account NYSL Twitter account


Center display case

January-March 2014

The New York State Library's first seventh floor exhibit in 2014 is a display of 19th- and 20th-century cookbooks from its collection.

The cookbooks range in date from 1828 to 1917, and are highly illustrative of the changes that cookbooks, and home cooking in general, have undergone during that time.


Left display case

Cookbooks from this period were often more than just a collection of recipes. Many offered philosophical advice for homemakers as well as tips on how they could be more economical.

The early, embossed, cooking-theme covers invite us in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and accompanying photographs and illustrations show the aesthetic of the period.


Right display case

To find cookbooks in the Library's collection, search the catalog on the keyword cookery or recipes. Try home economics for books that also advise on household management, or hygiene for those that also cover health and sanitary practices.


Books on exhibit

Title Author Publisher Date
1000 Shorter Ways Around the House Mae Savell Croy G.P Putnam's Sons 1916 While this book does include recipes, it was meant to be an advice book for women that provided them with simpler ways to do housework. It also provides advice for taking care of children and the sick. (Location: Z 640 C 950o)
Andrews Brother's Cook Book Andrews Bros., Importers, Wholesale and Retail Dealers Syracuse Journal Co. 1889 This catalog was released in 1889 by the Andrews Brothers, a Syracuse based grocery chain. The catalog provided customers with advertisements for products that were featured in the store as well as recipes that the products could be used in. (Location: Z 641.5 A572)
The Appledore Cookbook Maria Parloa Graves and Ellis 1872 After acquiring years of experience from working in homes and hotels as a cook and then attending the Maine Central Institute, Maria Parloa published her first book on cooking. Her aim was to share her experiences with new cooks in a small, affordable book. The book is split into two parts, the first having plain and simple foods while the second part has richer ones. (Location: Z 641.5 P 25ap)
(Source: Maria Parloa. CooksInfo.comexternal link. )
Around-the-World Cook Book Mary Louise Barroll The Century Co. 1913 The wife of a naval officer, Mary Barroll gathered recipes during her extensive travels with her husband. Her aim was to add dishes to the American woman's repertoire that she felt they should know and enjoy. Along with recipes from exotic lands, the book also provided information about how to clean and care for the home. (Location: Z 641.5 B277) (Sources: "News of Books." (1913, Jul 20). New York Times.)
The Art of Cooking Matilda Lees Dods G.P Putnam's Sons 1880 At the time this book was written, Matilda Dods noticed that there was growing appreciation for cooking and numerous cookbooks available. However, she felt most of these books were aimed at housewives and did not address the art or science of cooking. To fill this gap, she wrote a book that compiled what she had learned while attending the South Kensington School of Cookery. (Location: Z 641.5 D64)
Boston School Kitchen Text-Book Mary J. Lincoln The Chapple Press 1911 Mary Lincoln was the founder and first director of the Boston Cooking School, one of the original cooking schools in America. To further the school's mission of bringing a standard cooking curriculum into the home, she published the Boston School Kitchen Text-Book, which was inspired by her own experience teaching young women the skills they would need to run their households. At the time of its publication, the book was praised as being one of the most innovative and original cookbooks of all times. (Location: Z 641.5 L73b)
(Sources: Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project and Not By Bread Alone: America's Culinary Heritage Projectextrnal link)
Breakfast, Dinner, and Tea Julia C. Andrews D. Appleton and Company 1859 Billing itself as a cookbook filled with the favorite food of poets, this book presents practical recipes that have "pleased poets and philosophers, and races long past." Each chapter includes a poem, the history of the food being discussed, and recipes. (Location: 641.5 A56)
Breakfast, Luncheon, and Tea Marion Harland Scribner, Armstrong, and Co. 1875 Instead of laying out the book as an instruction manual, information is conveyed through informal conversations. Each chapter begins with a "chat" and then continues onto the recipes, which are accompanied by commentary. (Location: Z641.5 T31)
(Source: Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Projectexternal link)
Catering for Special Occasions with Menus and Recipes Fannie Merrit Farmer 1911? This book organizes recipes by the occasion at which they should be served. Each occasion offers multiple menu ideas, followed by the recipes. Scattered throughout the book are illustrations of little cherubs cooking. (Location: 641.5 F23c)
Catering for Two Alice L. James G.P Putnam's Sons 1899 This book, intended for newly married women, lays out possible menus and recipes for two people. The author hoped this would help new wives find their way in the kitchen, since reducing recipes down to a size suitable for just two people can be difficult for inexperienced cooks. (Location: Z 641.5 J27)
Comprehensive Guide-Book to Natural Hygenic and Humane Diet Sidney H. Beard Thomas Y. Cromwell and Company 1902 Sidney Beard was great supporter of the vegetarian movement and believed that vegetarian eating would lead to better health. Much like supporters of today's natural food movement, Mr. Beard supported eating foods for their anti-oxidant properties. He also believed in using simple cooking methods which would bring out the food's natural flavor. (Location: Z 641.5 B36)
(Source: 150 Years in the Stacks – Year 42 – MIT Libraries)
The Consolidated Library of Modern Cooking and Household Recipes Christine Terhune Herrick R.J. Boomer Company 1905 This five-volume set was created to provide women with everything they would need to know about running a household, so that they could do it themselves instead of handing off the job to a professional. The topics covered ranged from formal dinner parties to informal family dinners. (Location: Z641.5 H56c)
The Cook's Own Book A Boston Housekeeper Oliver S. Felt 1865 While this book is generally considered the first alphabetically arranged book in America, most of the sources are borrowed from British cookbooks. Despite borrowing information from other places and a large introduction (discussing household management and different types of food), this was one of the most popular cookbooks of the 19th century. (Location: Z 641.5 L 479a) (Source: Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Projectexternal link)
"Dame Curtsey's" Book of Recipes Ellye Howell Glover A.C. McClurg and Co. 1909 The author created this book to provide practical advice for running a household. Along with recipes, the book also provides menus for different occasions. (Location: 641.5 G56)
Domestic Duties Mrs. William Parkes J and J Harper 1828 This book offers advice to newly married women on the "duties of married life." It not only covers household duties but also socializing, time management, and moral and religious duties. The book is laid out in the form of conversations between two women, a format the author hoped would make it easier for the reader to absorb the information. (Location: Z 640 P24)
Economical Cooking: Planned for Two or More Persons Winfred S. Gibbs The New York Book Company 1912 While many things change, one of the things that stay the same is that people want to people able to cook a good meal in an inexpensive way. This book was aimed at newly married women and laid out the principles of creating healthy and economical meals. The recipes were meant to be made for two people, but the author says they could be adapted for larger crowds. (Location: Z 641.5 G44)
Epicure's Cook Book Translated and Arranged by "One of Them" Union and Advertiser Company 1881 An epicure is defined as "a person who cultivates a refined taste, especially in food and wine; connoisseur" ( From this definition, we can infer that the book was aimed at the "foodies" of the day and was meant as a summary of the best recipes of time. (Location: Z 641.5 E64)
Family Living on $500 a Year Juliet Corson Harper and Brothers 1888 Considered to be one of the most important New York Culinary authorities of her time, Juliet Corson created cookbooks with practical advice. Not only does this book feature economical recipes but it also give grocery shopping advice as well as tips for running the household. (Location: Z 641.5 C82f)
(Source: Juliet Corson, Family Living on $500 a Year, Lunch Hour NYCexternal link.)
Fifty Years in a Maryland Kitchen Mrs. B.C. Howard Norman, Remington Co. 1913 The author initially did not want to include her name on this book but did so on the advice of her publisher, who said it would sell better if her name was included. Her aim was to create a book of simple, practical recipes that she had cooked for her own family and had tested extensively. (Location: 641.5 H84a2)
The Fireless Cooker Caroline B. Lovewell, Frances D. Whittemore, and Hannah W. Lyon The Home Publishing Co. 1908 This cookbook was created to help women adapt to the "fireless" stoves that were now available. In addition to recipes, it provided advice on how to use the stove and how to adapt cooking methods to it. (Location: Z 641.588 L91)
First Principles of Household Management and Cookery Maria Parloa Houghton, Mifflin and Company 1899 Originally published in 1879, this book was intended to educate readers about the dangers of improper cooking. After visiting London, the author became convinced that England had found the proper way to prepare food and wanted to share her new-found knowledge with the American people. (Location: 641.5 P25)
Foods and Household Management Helen Kinne MacMillan Company 1914 Created as a companion to the book Shelter and Clothing, this book is meant to serve as a textbook in the "household arts." The main focus of the book is on food, and it gives advice about its production, cost, nutritional value, preparation, and methods of serving. There are also recipes that have been adapted from the books of other authors. (Location: Z 640 K55f)
The Fun of Cooking Caroline French Benton The Century Co. 1915 The Fun of Cooking was a cookbook for children. Unlike traditional cookbooks, the recipes are interspersed throughout a story about a family cooking together. While the story is about the whole family, the focus is on a mother instructing her daughter in the secrets of the kitchen and preparing meals for the family. (Location: 641.5 B96)
Handbook of Invalid Cooking Mary Boland The Century Co. 1897 The recipes contained in this book are specifically aimed at those who are sick. Along with recipes, the book offers explanations about how food should be prepared and the benefits of certain food. (Location: Z641.5 T 76)
Hood's Practical Cook's Book C.I. Hood and Company C.I. Hood and Company 1897 Rather than call this book a cookbook, the author names it a cook's book, because it was meant to be used by the average family and not a chef. For the same reason, the author stayed away from technical terms and only used plain and concise language. The recipes are meant to be pragmatic and affordable. (Location: Z 641.5 H77)
The Hostess of Today Linda Hull Larned Charles Scribner's Sons 1899 This book is aimed at experienced housekeepers who are looking to prepare menus for special occasions. Because readers are expected to have experience cooking, the author doesn't take time to instruct them in how to prepare food for cooking or how to adapt dishes for everyday use. (Location: 641.5 L32)
The Housekeeper's Manual Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe J.B Ford and Company 1873 In 1873, Harriet Beecher Stowe, probably best known for writing Uncle Tom's Cabin, and her older sister, Catherine, published The Housekeeper's Manual. Both women were influential social reformers who worked toward changing domestic life and education in America. Intended as a manual on how to ensure the physical and spiritual wellbeing of the family, the book also includes biblical references and the authors' feminist philosophies. (Location: Z 640 B41n)
(References: University of Pennsylvania Special Collections exhibit Household Words: Women Write from and for the Kitchen and From USC Libraries – A Housekeepers Manual for the 19th Century by Dan Knapp)
Hydropathic Cook-Book R.T. Trall, M.D. Samuel R. Wells 1873 The main aim of the author was to present the principles and facts about the human diet in a small, concise book. The author believed that many chronic diseases could be cured through diet and the application of the "Water-Cure," which is not explained. The book includes recipes intended to help maintain a healthy body. (Location: Z641.5 T 76)
Kitchenette Cookery Anna Merritt East Little, Brown, and Company 1917 Anna East created this book for people living in boarding houses who wanted to be able to cook for themselves. The book provides plans and suggestions for creating a kitchette in a closet in their room, along with grocery list suggestions, menus, and recipes. (Location: Z 641.5 E13)
(Source: Smith College – Cabinet of Culinary Curiosities, Books and Manuscripts from the Mortimer Rare Book Room)
Lessons in Cookery Eliza A. Youmans D. Appleton and Company 1878 Originally published in England as the official handbook for a national cooking school, this book was revised and published as a cookbook in America. Along with recipes, there are also lessons on basic cooking skills. (Location: Z 641.5 L84)
Like Mother Used To Make Christine Terhune Herrick Dana Estes and Company 1912 Christine Herrick wrote thirty books between 1888 and 1928. The majority were cookbooks, but she also wrote books about taking care of the home and family. What is unique about What Mother Used to Make is the series of little anecdotes, at the beginning of each chapter, about the things the author's mother learned while working in the kitchen. (Location: Z 641.5 H56t)
(Source: Books by Terhune Family Members – Texas Tech University)
Little Helps: Hints for our Homemakers Chosen from contributions made by ten thousand Women of America to the National Magazine Chapple Publishing Company 1909 This book is based on contributions made to the National Magazine. It aims to combine the knowledge of women from all different walks of life, in the hopes that learning about what others do will help women become better at taking care of their own homes. Scattered among the recipes are hints about cleaning and taking care of the family. (Location: 640 N27)
Living on a Little Caroline French Benton Colonial Press 1908 Presented in the form of a story, the book offers advice for newly married couples along with simple recipes. The recipes are presented as part of a conversation and are not separated from the rest of the text. Also included in conversations are some tips and tricks for cooking. (Location: 641 B96)
Lowney's Cook Book Maria Willett Howard The Walter M. Lowney Co. 1912 The 1912 edition of this book includes more illustrations, which are used show the different cuts of meat. The book claims that "not even the United State Government has ever attempted such expensive illustrations of cuts of meat." The book was created to contribute to the "fine art of living" and to make the home more attractive for the husband and children.
Mary Ronald's Century Cookbook Mary Ronald The Century Co. 1913 Mary Ronald, a pseudonym for Augusta Arnold, wrote the Century Cookbook and its companion, Luncheons: A Cook's Picture Book. Both were originally published in 1902 and provided illustrations as well as recipes; however, the Century Cookbook also provided information about running a household. Targeted at the upper-class, it included such information as how to hold dinner parties, the way to serve courses, and how to train a cook. (Location: Z 641.5 A75)
(Sources: Driver, Elizabeth. Culinary Landmarks: A Bibliography of Canadian Cookbooks, 1825-1949. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 2008)
Miss Beecher's Housekeeper and Healthkeeper Catherine Esther Beecher Harper and Brothers Publishers 1873 This book is split into two parts: the first covers buying, preparing, and cooking food, while the second is more philosophical, giving advice on caring for the family, including advice on how to raise a family. One such chapter speaks about the benefits of early rising. (Location: Z 640 B41m)
Maria Washington's or the Mother's Cook Book Maria Washington The Abbey Press 1902 The book begins with an index that lists all the recipes included. Recipes are divided into sections based on the type of food. The index does not show all the chapters, and seems to miss the introductory chapter on how to butcher meat and shop for groceries.(Location: Z 641.5 M377)
Marion Harland's Complete Cook Book Marion Harland Bobbs-Merrill Company 1906 Along with providing recipes, Marion Harland taught readers about the chemistry of cooking and the utensils needed to cook properly. The book's aim was to teach housekeepers an economical way of making meals for their families. (Location: 641.5 T31m)
May Irwin's Home Cooking May Irwin Frederick A. Stockes Company 1904 This book lays out its recipes so that each one has its own page. On every other page, the recipe is accompanied by a little illustration. While some of the illustrations match the recipe being discussed, the majority do not and appear to be the random musings of the illustrator.
(Location: 641.5 I72)
Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine W. Carew Hazlitt Elliot Stock 1893 The main purpose of the book is to explain the history of food, from Roman times to the present day. Interspersed with historical stories are recipes. (Location: Z 641.5 H43)
The Oriental Cook Book Ardashes H. Keolerian Sully and Klienteich 1913 While many of the books on ethnic cooking from this period are said to be poor representations of the actual cuisine, this book features authentic and traditional food from the Middle East. The author was originally from Armenia and wanted to introduce an American audience to Middle Eastern cooking. (Location: Z 641.5 K77) (Source: Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Projectexternal link)
The Philosophy of Housekeeping Joseph B. Lyman and Laura E. Lyman S.M. Betts and Company 1869 The authors of this book wanted both to create a manual of housekeeping and to teach the public about the science behind food. Because of this, the book doesn't just provide recipes but information about the chemistry of food and the way that specific foods affect the body. (Location: Z 640 L98)
The Practical Housewife The Original Editor of the "Family Friend" and the "Housewife's Reason Why" Houlston and Wright 1860 Created as a guide to housewives, this book was meant to help them provide for the wellbeing of the home, which included protecting the house from disease, uncleanliness, and waste. Without the housewife there to do these things, it was believed that the husband would fail. (Location: Z640 P54)
Salads, Sandwiches, and Chafing Dish Dainties Janet McKenzie Hill Little, Brown, and Company 1911 Originally published in 1899, this revised edition was created to be "even more complete and helpful than the first" and featured more illustrations. In addition to recipes, the book provided instructions on the proper way to prepare ingredients. (Location: Z 641.83 H64)
Practical Sanitary and Economic Cooking Mrs. Mary Hinman Abel American Public Health Association 1890 This book was the winner of the Lomb Prize Essay Contest. Contest essays had to feature recipes for 12 menus, each of which had to have three meals a day. Along with being economical, the meals had to be healthy and practical. (Location: Z 641 A14).
Warne's Model Cookery and Housekeeping Book Mary Jewry Frederick Warne and Co. 1868 Filled with illustrations of the proper way to prepare food, Warne's Model Cookery and Housekeeping Book presents recipes for housekeepers with small incomes. The book also features hints for taking care of the house. (Location: Z 641.5 T59)
With a Saucepan Over the Sea Adelaide Keen Little, Brown, and Company 1910 Originally published in 1902, this cookbook was created to bring unknown recipes to Americans. The author thought that American cooking was too plain and could use some of the spicing found in the recipes from other lands. She also claimed that existing foreign cookbooks were either unsatisfactory, naïve, or too extravagant. Because of this, she decided to take the best recipes and combine them in her own cookbook. (Location: Z 641.5 K26)
The Young Housekeeper WM. A. Alcott George W. Light 1838 Filled with preaching and pseudo-medicine, The Young Housekeeper offers Dr. Alcotts own views on proper behavior and ways of life. He believed that people were wasting their time preparing food and should be spending more time devoted to the physical, moral, and social wellbeing of their families. (Location: Z 641 A35) (Source: Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Projectexternal link)
Black and white graphich of fancy teapots and flatware.

Exhibit curated by Samantha Brown

Last Updated: November 2, 2021