Our second profile for Women’s History Month is Lily Haxworth Wallace. Unfortunately, biographical information on Wallace is limited. (A bit surprising, considering both how prolific she was and her connection to at least one major company, but some people remain a mystery!) We know she was born in England and that she trained at the National Training School of Cookery in London, before moving to the United States around 1900. She quickly became connected to the Rumford Company and over the course of her career, authored, edited, and compiled pamphlets and cookbooks sponsored by and featuring Rumford products, as well as a number of general cookbooks.
We have nearly 30 of her publications in our collection here at Virginia Tech, published between 1908 and 1950. Along with the many editions of The Rumford Cook Book, The Rumford Complete Cook Book, and The Revised Rumford Cook Book, we also have:
- The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes, 1912, edited and revised by Wallace
- Rumford Home Recipes, 1913 with Fannie Farmer and Mildred Maddocks
- Recipes for Biscuits, Muffins, Rolls, etc., between 1920 and 1940
- Rumford Fruit Recipes, 1927
- Rumford Common Sense Cook Book, c.1930s
- The Women’s World Cook Book, c.1931
- The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book, c.1943
- The American Family Cook Book, 1950
- Our Culinary Pamphlet Collection (Ms2011-022) also contains a number of items by Wallace relating to the Rumford Company
Five editions of The Rumford Cook Book (1908, 1918, 1925, 1926, and 1927) are available online through Virginia Tech. You can find other editions of Wallace’s books and pamphlets online through a variety of resources, too. As you can see from some of our examples above, some of them contain wonderful full color covers and illustrations. Wallace successfully aligned herself with a company in a way that both helped her make a name for herself, while not allowing it to limit her to publishing certain kinds of books and recipes.