Antique Cookbooks and Vintage Illustrated Cooking Booklets

These are original old cookbooks, not reproductions. We provide you with a link to the free ebook of the used cookbooks when we find them. Click on each title for more cookbook information, including condition of the antique cookbook. The cooking illustrations on this page are for illustration purposes only. A picture of the actual cookbook is available when you click each link. Paypal is through Paypal.

Taffy Pulling

by Rena

We saw the photo at masterfile for taffy pulling in the 1940s. Question. Have these masterfiles been taken recently and staged to look like the ’40s ’50s, and 60s, or are they historic? They may be historic, but they’re such hams it made me wonder. I like the pictures.

Dr. Miles Candy Book.Well. Here are some taffy-pulling pictures that are from an earlier time–or verified from an earlier time. The picture, left, is from a cooking booklet sometime between 1911 and 1914.

c. 1919: Lydia PinkhamSweets
This Sweet heart picture, above, does not come with a date. It is from Lydia Pinkham’s advertising booklet. All the illustrations in her booklets are so cute. Lydia gave us these instructions:

  • In handling or pulling all boiled candies the hands should be well buttered to prevent the mixture sticking to them.
  • If the pot in which candy is boiled is buttered for an inch or two down, the liquid will not boil over.
  • Flavors are more delicate when not boiled in candy but added afterward.
  • Use fresh cold water for each trial of candy; preferably ice-water.

1911 Home Vegetable Gardening free online ebook, in time for spring planting…

Fact-checking and accuracy of Boston Cooking School Cook Book editions and reprints is gradually in-progress here. Links will bring you to free online copies of the book:

  • 1st edition, first printing, 1896. 567 pp. (3,000 copies; rewrite of Mary Lincoln’s 1884 Boston School Kitchen Text-Book)
  • 1st edition, 1904. 666 pp. plus 20 pp. ads, reprinted with appendix of 300 recipes and addendum of 60 recipes
  • 2nd edition, 1906. 648 pp. (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; revised by Fannie Farmer)
  • 2nd edition, revised, 1910 (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; revised by Fannie Farmer; added 125 new recipes)
  • 2nd edition, revised, 1914 (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; possibly last revised by Fannie Farmer)

Fannie Farmer was alive for the above editions. Before her death on January 14th, 1915, more than 360,000 copies sold of 21 printings of the book. She owned the copyright and made a fortune–being nationally known for her lectures, newspaper and magazine articles. After her death, her sister Cora was executor of the estate, and her parents, the heirs, and the following editions were released:

  • 3rd edition, 1918. 656 pp. (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; said to be partially revised by Fannie Farmer before her death in 1915 (she wouldn’t have included the War-time supplement), also said to be edited by Mary Farmer; includes War-time recipes supplement, cold-pack method of canning, drying of fruits and vegetables, and food values)
  • 3rd edition, reprint, between 1919 and 1922. 656 pp. (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; said to be revised by Fannie Farmer before her death in 1915, also said to be edited by Mary Farmer; includes War-time recipes supplement removed)
  • 4th edition, 1923. 808 pp. (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; probably revised by Fannie’s sister/executor of the estate, Cora Farmer Perkins; incorporates Fannie Farmer’s 1912 book, A New Book of Cookery, and about 40 additional ages at the back of book.)
  • 4th edition, reprint, 1927 (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; probably revised by Cora Farmer Perkins)
  • 5th edition, 1930. 831 pp. (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; probably revised by Cora Farmer Perkins)
  • 6th edition, 1936. 838 pp. (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; probably revised by Cora Farmer Perkins, with her son Herbert and Herbert’s wife, Wilma Lord Perkins.)
  • 7th edition, 1941. 824 pp. (Publisher: Little, Brown & Co., Boston, McClelland & Stewart, Toronto; revised by Wilma Lord Perkins)
  • 8th edition, 1946. 879 pp. (Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cook Book; Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; revised by Wilma Lord Perkins)
  • 9th edition, 1951. 878 pp. (The New Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking-School Cookbook on cover; Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; revised by Wilma Lord Perkins)
  • 10th edition, 1959. 596 pp. (The All New Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking-School Cookbook; Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.)
  • 10th edition, reprinted 1964
  • 10th edition, reprinted 1965
  • 10th edition, reprinted 1972
  • 11th edition, 1965. 624 pp. (Title changed to The Fannie Farmer Cookbook; Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.)
  • Bantam Reference Library edition, 1965, 648 pp. (Title changed to The All New Fanny Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook)
  • Facsimile edition of 1896 edition, 1973, 568 pp. plus 18 pp. period ads (Publisher: Weathervane Books; title changed to The Original Boston Cooking School Cook Book, 1896
  • 12th edition, 1979. 811 pp. (“Revised by Marion Cunningham with Jeri Laber”; publisher: Knopf; first year sold 400,000 copies)
  • 13th edition, 1990. 874 pp. (“By Marion Cunningham”; publisher: Knopf)

canning and drying food.

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1918: Home Canning and Drying of Vegetables and Fruits, with directions for making Jellies and Fruit Butters and for Fermentation, Salting and Pickling.
Part I–Home Canning,
Part II–Home Drying, etc.
National War Garden Commission


Sample Text:

To save vegetables and fruits by canning this year is a patriotic duty. The war makes the need for Food Conservation more imperative than at any time in history….The American family can do nothing more helpful in this emergency than to Can All Food That Can be Canned.

…canning may be done in the kitchen or out of doors. It may be done in the individual household or by groups of families. Community canning is important in that it makes possible the use of the best equipment at small individual outlay and induces Food Conservation on a large scale. Community canning by school children, under the direction of competent teachers, is especially valuable.

canning animation.Community Work
One of the best methods to follow in canning and drying operations is for several families to club together for the work. The work may be carried on at a schoolhouse, in a vacant storeroom, at the home of one of the members or at some other convenient and central location where heat and water can be made available….
For a co-operative enterprise it is well to have a committee of from three to five to take charge of all details. First determine how many people will take part in the work, how much each proposes to can or dry, what vegetables and fruits each will furnish and such other information as will have a bearing on the selection of equipment. After deciding how much money will be needed have each member contribute his or her proportion, determined by the amouont of canning or drying he or she proposes to do….
The equipment may be used by the individual members, on a schedule arranged by the committee, or a working force may be appointed to do all the work, receiving pay in the form of a percentage of the product.
Publicity is important in keeping interest aroused and there should be a committee to arrange with the local papers for the publication of information concerning the enterprise. This serves as an incentive to others.

Sterilization of Food
The scientist has proven that food decay is caused by microorganisms, classed as bacteria, yeast and molds. Success in canning necessitates the destruction of these organisms. A temperature of 160 to 190 F degrees will kill yeasts and molds. Bacteria are destroyed at a temperature of 212 F. held for the proper length of time. The destruction of these organisms by heat is called sterilization…. It must not be forgotten that success in canning demands careful attention to every detail. No step should be slighted. Follow one set of instructions closely and do not attempt to combine two, no matter how good both of them may be.

A Word as to Botulism
Expert research workers of the National War Garden Commission and the United States Department of Agriculture agree that there is no danger of botulism from eating vegetables which have ben canned by carefully following the directions issued by the Commission or the Department. CARE MUST BE TAKEN, HOWEVER, TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS EXPLICITLY. Cooking canned vegetables for 10 minutes at the boiling point after opening the jar for use will remove an possible danger. This applies also to Apricots and Pears.

Free eBook or purchase original booklet:

One 1918 original booklet is available, Home Canning and Drying of Vegetables and Fruits. $8.00. Condition: The booklet is in poor condition with covers detached, edges rubbed, chipped and torn, pencil markings, pages mellowed. 30-page booklet. Click “Add to Cart.”

Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book.

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1936: Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book, Fine Old Recipes made Famous by the Early Dutch Settlers in Pennsylvania.
Culinary Arts Press.


Sample Text:

As you drive through the beautiful farming country of Eastern Pennsylvania you will see…behind many a farmhouse, if you look closely, an oldtime stone oven….It was customary to build these ovens wide enough to admit a large log. When the fire had burned low and the coals were red hot, they would rake out the fire and set their foods to cook…the result was an inimitable flavor which is not always easy to recapture. It was, therefore, necessary to alter slightly some of the recipes contained in this book and adapt them to the use of the modern gas range or electric stove….

One of the most noteworthy and one of the quaintest niceties of the Pennsylvania Dutch is the celebrated custom known as the “Seven Sweets and Seven Sours.” Tradition has it that the housewife used to set the table with precisely seven sweets and seven sours…and it is the custom for the guests to look for, and even count to see that there are exactly even sweets and seven sours. It often becomes a matter of much gayety to chide the hostess should there be a shortage. This custom adds to the always abundant variety and interest of the table and is a delightful aid to appetite and digestion.

When a farmer eats, he eats. When a Pennsylvania Dutch farmer eats, he eats for two. What’s more, he wants his groceries where he can get at them with a simple and inspired reach. He is too hungry to be bothered with waiting for courses, even if his flushed women-folk had time from their kitchen duties to be running back and forth from the table during the whole meal. So with beautiful simplicity the entire dinner is plunked down on the table at once, smoking and steaming hot. A little grudging room is allowed at the sides for the plates and silverware; but the reat of the cloth is hidden under platters and dishes and bowls, each with its cargo ready and waiting. All the diner has to do is go to it.

…you eat at long tables, elbow to elbow with yourselves and others….if you hope for quaintness you will be disappointed….The tables are the plainest sort of deal, with chairs to match. The chinaware is the unbreakable kind beloved of lunch-wagon pearl-divers, the silver is the usual restaurant breed….What you want for your immediate dinner you reach for or call…farther down the table to pass to you.

This is what your table carries:

  • Chicken, stewed to tenderness and divided into its component parts for instant choice.
  • Gravy in separate bowls.
  • Pork Sausage of local manufacture.
  • Flat sausage cakes, a trifle lighter in texture.
  • “Lebanon bolgna” a beef sausage cut into thickhalf-slices and served hot.
  • “Potato filling,” which is mashed potatoes filled with chopped onions, celery and (I think) some herbs, browned in the pan.
  • Mashed potatoes.
  • Sweet potatoes.
  • Lima beans.
  • Peas.
  • Chickpeas (a large variety, loking something like hominy and with a distinct nutty flavor).
  • Beets.
  • Corn off the cob.
  • “Chicken patties,” which are flat noodles filled with minced chicken–raviola, in actural fact: a curious link with Latinity, for the dish is a local concoction.
  • Ordinary noodles.
  • “Egg salad”–chopped egg in mayonnaiseand vinegar, a regrettable reminiscence of soda-fountain sandwiches, one in which I seem to detect a Liggett’s serpent in this Eden.
  • Cole slaw.
  • Mixed relish.
  • Pickled cabbage.
  • Mixed pickles.
  • Apple-sauce (native and of a deliciousness).
  • Sliced tomatoes.
  • Canned peaches.
  • Canned cherries.
  • Fruit salad (more serpiginous trailing).
  • Large sweet rolls, white-iced.
  • “Shoo-fly pie”–a brown-and-white crumb-cake, faintly spice.
  • Doughnuts–big round feathery powdered local boys. There are also on the table…little mints, salted nuts, stuffed olives, and hard candies.
  • The desserts are stacked on an oak sideboard at one side of the room. They consist of six kinds of pie and four kinds of cake. You can have ice-cream, too, if you want it. There is no restriction whatever on the number of times you may attack any dish.

Uncle Ezra’s Egg Nog
1 large tablespoon sugar
1/2 glass shaved ice
1 fresh egg
1 wineglass whisky or rum
1/2 tumbler rich milk
Shake thoroughly and strain. Grate a little nutmeg on top and serve. The above recipe makes but one drink and may be multiplied to meet requirements.

Butterscotch Candy
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vinegar
Combine all the ingredients and cook until a little tried in cold water forms a brittle or hard ball. Pour into a buttered pan and when cool, cut in squares.

Purchase original booklet:

One 1936 original booklet is available, Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book. $2.00. Condition: The booklet is in poor condition with cover detached, edges rubbed, scuffed, pages mellowed. 48-page booklet. Click “Add to Cart.”

Peanut Butter and Molasses.

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c. 1913: This Booklet of Useful Recipes is Issued by P. Duff & Sons, Canners of Orleans Molasses and Makers of Peanut Butter, 918-20 Duquesne Way (on the River Front) Pittsburg, Pa. Established 1867.


This is an early booklet from the company that introduced the first boxed cake mixes.

Sample Text:

Pioneers in Canning Molasses

We were the first establishment in America to put up in hermetically sealed cans the “Sweetness of the Sugar Cane” thereby changing the slow, unsanitary method of drawing molasses from a barrel in the cellar to handling a neat convenient package off the shelf of the storeroom. Furthermore, a well made tin can is more easily used when baking than a heavy stoneware jug….

P. Duff & Sons are one of a certain few of the largest buyers at the Molasses mart in New Orleans, and for the past twenty years we have been canning this product….

Our own tank cars are used for conveying molasses in bulk fom the plantations in Louisiana direct to our warehouse and emptied into vats ready for canning. The Railroad tracks run into our cannery….

In not using this pure cane molasses of P. Duff & Sons, the carbonic gas produced by the vegetable sweetness will be lacking. Bear in minde ordinary syrup so called molasses, not having that raising fermentation quality, cannot be successfully used in baking.


Duff’s Peanut Butter is not in a sense a new food commodity; but of late years it has been rapidly growing in favor as a wholesome “spread” with all classes.

In Protein, in fats, and in carbohydrates, one pound jar of DUFF’S Peanut Butter is equal to three pounds of beefsteak, and the food value of one pound of Duff’S Peanut Butter is equivalent of forty eggs in giving power of sustenance, for energy producing, and for muscle making qualities–then compare the cost of one pound of beefsteak or three and one half dozen eggs as against the cost of one jar off DUFF’S Peanut Butter. When the nutritious values of DUFF’S Peanut Butter are fully understood the family caterer will in due time, consider it a standard requirement for the larder.

One pound of PEANUT BUTTER is equal in food value to:
Three dozen EGGS
Two pounds best cuts of BEEF
Three pounds best cuts of VEAL
Two pounds best cuts of LAMB
Two pounds best cuts of PORK
Six pounds of CHICKEN
Six pounds of FISH
Nine pounds of LIMA BEANS
Ten pounds of STRING BEANS
Eleven pounds of BEETS
Twelve pounds of CABBAGE
Five pounds of GREEN CORN
Ten pounds of ONIONS

Mothers are of the opinion that nuts are too strong an edible for children and that few, if any, should be eaten. This is a mistaken idea. For a child, a peanut butter sandwich would be more wholesome than a spread of jelly or of preserves, not to mention the superior food properties contained in the former.

In hot climates, where many choice varieties of nuts are grown, the people subsist almost entirely on the diet of nuts.

To lower the cost of living, place a jar of DUFF’S Peanut Butter in a convenient place that the entire family may “nibble” when so inclined. In this manner a taste for it will be acquired and hunger appeased by a delicious food.

Hot Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Spread six slices of bread with peanut butter and press them together in pairs; cut each pair in halves and trim off crusts if desired. Beat one egg; add about half a cup of sweet milk and mix thoroughly. Soak the sandwiches on both sides in the liquid. Have ready a hot frying pan in which a tablespoonful of butter is melted, let the butter run over the whole surface of the pan, put in the sandwiches and let cook until browned on one side, then turn and brown the other side. More butter may be needed. Serve from the frying pan.

Purchase original booklet:

One C. 1913 original booklet is available, This Booklet of Useful Recipes is Issued by P. Duff & Sons…. $40.00. Condition: The booklet is in poor condition with pages detached, creased, corners bent, pencil price. 32-page booklet. Click “Add to Cart.”

Housekeeping, the Oldest Industry.

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c. 1920s: Housekeeping, The Oldest and Greatest Industry.
Dr. Miles Remedies.


Sample Text:

The first instinct of primitive man was to get food and drink. The second was the sex instinct. Having food to sustain his body and a mate to bear his children, he must now provide some sort of shelter where he and his family would be at least partially protected from the cold and storms and where he could guard against the attacks of wild beasts and wilder men.

It is probable that the cave-man lived largely on flesh, as the parts of earth inhabited by him, at that time, were very cold and there were no implements of agriculture. After the discovery of fire, cooked flesh was found to be more palatable than raw. The first cooking was by direct exposure to the fire, later pits were dug, lined with the skin of the slain beast and partly filled with water. The flesh of the animal was put into the water and hot stones were thrown in, keeping the water in nearly a boiling state until the meat cooked.

Vessels of clay were finally made, into which water and food were put. These vessels were suspended over the fire. Probably as long a time elapsed between the time flesh was first grilled or roasted over the open fire and the time it was cooked in vessels, as has passed between the time it was first cooked in vessels and the present day….

Housekeeping and home making have always kept pace with progress in manufacturing, art and science. There have probably been greater advances during the past one hundred years than during the entire previous history of the human race….

…If your hair is oily, beat the white of an egg stiff and rub it thoroughly into the scalp, allow to dry and then brush out. You will then find your hair bright and fluffy.

Purchase original booklet:

One 1920s original booklet is available, Housekeeping, The Oldest and Greatest Industry. $12.00. Condition: The booklet is in good condition with pages creased, corners bent, pencil price. 32-page booklet. Click “Add to Cart.”

Your Work Room.

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c. 1920: Your Work Room, Equipped for Better Cooking with Less Work, and a directions brochure.
Super-Maid Cook-Ware, The Aristocrat of Cooking Utensils.


Sample Text:

Crisp, Golden Brown Waffles Without Smoke–No Greasing Necessary.
To most housewives the call for waffles from daddy and the children comes much too often, because she dreads the smoke and odor connected with the baking of them…. To make brown crisp waffles first heat the mould until a drop of water runs around on it without steaming, then pour batter. Turn the gas down slightly. Don’t worry if a little too much batter gets into ther mould, because the unique construction [of the Super Maid Waffle Mould] permits the upper mould to raise with the waffle.

Super-Maid pots and pans.Delicious, Easily Digested Pancakes without Smoke, Grease or Odor
Pancakes! They might easily be called our national breakfast…. To bake pancakes without smoke: first heat the griddle until a drop of water runs around on it without steaming. Then turn down the gas about two-thirds and start baking. Adjust the heat so that the cakes are nicely browned on the bottom by the time the batter becomes mottled on top. When a cake is put on the griddle if large bubbles begin to rise at once to the upper side of the cake the griddle is too hot; if the upper side begins to stiffen before the under side is browned the griddle is not hot enough.

You Can Bake Pies on Top of Your Stove With Super Maid Cook-Ware
Cakes, pies and biscuits can be easily baked in the Preserving Kettle. The rack that is used for this purpose has two shelves, making it possible to bake two pies or two layer cakes at one time. Heat preserving kettle until a drop of water runs around in it without steaming before baking.

It is not so much the recipe as the good judgment of the cook that makes the perfect dish, so do not be limited to weights and measures. Rosa Bonheur did not paint “The Horse Fair” with one cup of white paint, two cups of red paint and one-half cup of blue…. Cooking is an art; an inspiration, that comes from the mind and heart, where spoons and scales do not reach.

Purchase original booklet:

One 1920s original booklet is available, Your Work Room, Equipped for Better Cooking with Less Work. $5.00. Condition: The booklet is in fair condition with edges chipped and folded, owner pencil writing, scuffs, worn spine and edges. 14-page booklet. Insert is an accordian-folded brochure, 6-pages in poor condition with stains, splits, folded edges, and hightly-chipped edges. Click “Add to Cart.”