Women’s History Month Profile, Part 6: Lily Haxworth Wallace

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 BookThe 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.

6 thoughts on “Women’s History Month Profile, Part 6: Lily Haxworth Wallace

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  2. Joseph R.Declet

    I have a pamphlet titled
    “Household Hand Book”. Complied by Lily Haxworth Wallace
    Witer,Teacher and Lecturer on Domestic Science
    What a hoot to read today!
    There is no printing date to be found, just curious if you might know when it was printed. It is in association with Rumford, pictured on back.

    1. It can be hard to tell with corporate sponsored pamphlets, since they often went through multiple printings. Special Collections holds a copy that we believe comes from the very early part of the 20th century (probably some time in the first 10-15 years). Like Virginia Tech, there are a few other libraries with pamphlet collections and I found two references to other libraries with some version of this item, but in one case it was marked “n.d.” (not dated) and in the other, there was only a date range for all the items in the box (1910-1999). But chances are, it’s from the first two decades of the 1900s. -Kira

  3. Diane

    Have my moms cookbook written by her in 1941 – the 1949 edition, The Lily Wallace New American Cookbook, presented to my mother when she got married and which is inscribed by the Bryant and Chapman company in Wallingford. My father and grandfather worked for Wallace Sterling in Connecticut and I always thought she might be married into the Wallace family. The recipes are certainly interesting in this day and age!

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  5. Robin Smith-Johnson

    My mother passed away a month ago and in her collection of books is Soups, Stews and Chowders by Lily Haxworth Wallace. It is signed by the author and made out “to my longtime friend, Margaret Cuthbert, December 1945.” The book also includes my mother’s recipes on index cards or news clippings. I will treasure my copy of this book.

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