It’s time again for another pamphlet round-up! (Side note: As with last time around, these are all brand new items. They haven’t been added to the Culinary Pamphlet Collection yet, but they will be soon! I’m actually getting some processing done this summer!) Presented in no particular order:
This is only about 1/5 of the pamphlet backlog in my office at present, but there are definitely some good discoveries, no matter what your interest. As always, you’re welcome to come view items–even the unprocessed ones–and visit us in Special Collections. We’ll be here all summer!
Happy (almost) New Year! Special Collections is still closed, but we don’t want to leave you recipe-less or uninspired on the cusp of 2016. If you need some last minute candies for guests or a sugar rush for yourself, this week’s feature will help! It’s Plain Rules for Candy Making, published in 1922. It’s not a book or even a pamphlet. Rather, it’s a double-sided card. We’ve seen some similar items before in the Cocktail History Collection, but this is the first candy-based one we’ve acquired.
Plain Rules for Candy Making, 1922. Advertisement and ingredients for Maple Sugar Fudge.
Plain Rules for Candy Making, 1922. General instructions and directions for Maple Sugar Fudge.
Plain Rules for Candy Making, 1922. Advertisement and highlighted recipe for Cocoanut Macaroons (other recipes above).
Plain Rules for Candy Making, 1922. General instructions and directions for Cocoanut Macaroons (other recipes above).
For the most part, Plain Rules for Candy Making speaks for itself. Also, while your usual archivist/blogger Kira planned ahead and wrote this back on December 16, it’s the holiday season and there are more important (but only slightly more fun ;)) things to do than read a long blog post. However, before we part ways until 2016, there are a few points worth making. First, this sliding recipe card comes from Livermore & Knight Co., no strangers to the History of Food and Drink Collection. They published the set of tiny cookbooks you may have read about on the blog before in “A Tiny Post on Some Tiny Books” and “From Tiny Books to Chunky Books.” Apparently, quirky and unique methods of sharing recipes was there thing. Second, it’s a good reminder that there are connections to be made through the collection and not always in obvious ways. We have a variety of books it the collection that don’t contain related content, but are connected by other elements like publisher, which makes them an interesting study for other reasons (did a publisher produce books that all looked a certain way? focused on a certain theme/ingredient? contain a shared element?). Perhaps we’ll take some of that up…next year.
Happy New Year (and be sure to join us for a whole new year of feature items in 2016)!
This week, I thought we’d take a look at a “shaped” publication. (Also, I have plans to recreate an 1827 “Layfayette Gingerbread” recipe this weekend and I have sugar and molasses on the brain.) As we know from the wide array advertising materials we’ve looked at before, companies have all kinds of quirky strategies for attracting consumer attention. This booklet from W. J. McCahan Sugar Refining & Molasses Co. took a novel approach: they shaped the publication like a bag of sugar.
“McCahan’s Sunny Cane Sugar” was published in 1937, but as you can see from one of the images above, this was far from the first edition. The 88 pages are packed with information on the history of sugar, types of sugar produced by the company, recipes, and kitchen/cooking tips. The recipes primarily provide instruction for desserts (not surprising), but there are also sections for meat and vegetables. Because of course you’ll want to get sugar into every dish of your meal!
We have a couple other pamphlets from a different sugar company that are shaped like sugar bags (these are only about two pages long each) in the collection. My guess is, the sugar bag shape is relatively easy to create, since it involves the removal of the corners. I’ve also come across some can-shaped pamphlets and one strange booklet that’s square at the top, but features the image of a wooden salad bowl on the cover. The bottom of the booklet is rounded like a bowl. More recently, we acquired a book on peanuts shaped like–you guessed it–a peanut! Now, if only we had a bread-loaf shaped one to go with it, we would be part way to strange looking peanut butter sandwich…
With the holidays just around the corner, fall and winter baking season is here! (It’s baking season almost year round if you’re me, but this time of year can be especially popular.) And, in the past, we’ve talked a fair bit about flour and baking powder on the blog, but we haven’t said much about another staple: sugar!
This 1930-ish pamphlet belongs to the large family of advertising publications and icons in our collection. Eighteen Unusual Recipes has a center image, so each page has a half moon cut out, allowing Jack Frost and a few of his products to shine through. He’s framed by recipes that may not all seem that unusual. We have things like cakes and dessert loaves, and “Sea Wave Candy” (which may sound a bit strange, but isn’t really, when you see the ingredients). For the time, we might consider “Spanish Marmalade” and “Chutney Sauce” to be a bit out there. Perhaps more importantly, though, is convincing people to buy the right product. And, with as diverse a set of sugar products as the company made, they were certainly targeting a wide market. (I particularly like the little individually wrapped sugar tablets in the center of the back page.)
The National Sugar Refining Company of New Jersey isn’t called that anymore. It has long since become part of a larger company. But you might still see Jack Frost on a package or two, depending on where you live, continuing to bring you granulated sugar for all your goodies!
Some of the books in the Ann Hertzler Children’s Cookbook and Nutrition Literature Collection are stories, some are full of basic and simple recipes. Other items, like those we’re featuring this week, are about education. Jane Dale’s series of five books each focus on a key food group, contain lots of black and white photos, and are written in a simple, explanatory way. All five books were published around 1940 by the Artists and Writers Guild (Poughkeepsie, NY). They make heavy use of news outlet and USDA photographs.
The series consists of:
Fruits and Vegetables: Their Kinds and Uses
Meat: Flesh Foods from Farm, Range, and Sea
Milk, Our First Food
Sugar: Sweetening Foods from Many Plants
Wheat for My Bread
Each book includes background on the food group and specific foods within the group. There is information about processes involved in getting foods from their original source to the table, too. The volume on wheat talks about planting and harvesting techniques, while the book on fruits and vegetables talks about farming and growing plants. Other volumes contain details on food technologies and processing: the book on meat has information about fishermen making nets and even skinning cattle at the stockyards; the book on sugar has details on how sugar cane is processed in a factory.
While some of the details may seem a bit–graphic (do we really want to SEE someone checking the viscera of sheep for disease?)–the history and facts Dale includes are wide-ranging and educational. Which is really the point, it seems. The series represented an opportunity to teach children about the foods they need to grow.
We were lucky enough to acquire these books as a set in April of this year. Although a number of other public and academic libraries have some holdings, we appear to be the only one with a full set. So, if you want to know what equipment might be in a small, local creamery or what a boat full of 40,000 sardines looks like, we might just be able to help.