Tuesday, July 29, 2008

American Kitchen Magazine 1899

Things have gone a bit haywire here in New York since my return from PA on a stormy Sunday drive. It doesn't look like I will be able to post anything until Saturday, August first. While I was in PA, I won the American Kitchen Magazine which I posted about on the anniversary of Mary J. Lincoln's birth at the beginning of the month. I thought I would quickly share some highlights from the magazine.

For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll give you a quick breakdown. Mrs. Mary J. Lincoln was an influential teacher and cookbook author. In addition, she wrote for periodicals, published books, and devised a large amount of advertising pamphlets for food and cooking equipment companies. She is considered one the pioneers of the domestic science movement in the United States. In 1894, Mrs. Mary J. Lincoln co-founded The New England Kitchen Magazine which later became American Kitchen Magazine. As owner and culinary editor of American Kitchen Magazine, she ran a popular syndicated column, "From Day to Day" from 1889 until her death. She was an active member of the New England Woman's Press Association and helped to found a baking powder company which bore her name. The following images and text come from the August 1899 edition of the magazine. (click to enlarge)

At first glance, American Cookery Magazine and American Kitchen Magazine may look similar. In many ways they are. They're about the same size. They offer very few colorized pages and lots of vintage advertisements. In some ways, the content mirrors the other although, American Kitchen offers advertisements woven in reader articles. American Cookery depends more on its reputation. There are, of course, less recipes in The American Kitchen Magazine which contains more "scientific" articles as stated in the sub heading of the magazine, A Domestic Science Monthly published by The Home Science Publishing Company, Boston Mass.

Jamaica Can't Sell Oranges a letter to the Associated Press from Kingston, Jam, says: "Last year, from April to June inclusive, 350 packages of oranges were shipped to England experimentally and were not successful. During the same time the shipments to the United States aggregated 2,415,000 packages...Meanwhile the duty against foreign oranges has gone into operation in the United States, with the startling results that since April only 250 packages of oranges have been shipped to America and none at all to England. Canada has taken 8,050 packages and other countries 42,100, virtually leaving the crop to rot on the ground."

The main article is titled The Organization Of A Home by Dinah Sturgis. Dinah Sturgis was a pen name for Mrs. Belle Armstrong Whitney author of The Art of Dress, and What To Wear and How To Make It a column of the Ladies' Home Journal. (The pictured image for the Bliss Charcoal Stove represents a product which I think was advertised by Caroline F. Baxter who may be Mrs. A. L. Bliss)

There is a good deal of difference between the ideal home and a home that is practicable on a moderate income. The difference varies, however, according to the condition under which the income is received...The value of any income is its purchasing power, but the purchasing power of money varies according to where and by whom it is spent. In some respects, notably in the purchase of clothing, a dollar goes farther in New York city than elsewhere in the country. On the other hand, there is hardly any other place where its purchasing or renting power in real estate is so small. In food more variety is offered in New York than elsewhere in the country, but the retail price for good grades and the ideal home must be supplied with good food in variety averages as high as elsewhere. A dollar in the hands of the shrewd and experienced buyer goes farther than when the buyer is neither experienced nor shrewd...Presuming that the daily income of the family in question is confined to working days, the allowance to rent had better not exceed $3.00 a week. This sum in New York will rent only a flat or tenement in extremely undesirable neighborhoods unless the family lives several miles from the business centre of the city...
We no more live to know than we live to eat. We live to contemplate, enjoy, act, adore; and we may know all that is to be known in this world and all that Satan knows in the other, without being able to do any of these.-Ruskin-

I'm not able to go into detail about the too many more articles but I do want to mention Curious West Indian Eatables by Allan Eric.

...I remember the first time I sat down to supper in Port Antonio, Jamaica, when the pickles were passed to me; and as I was about to help myself liberally, a gentleman next to me cautioned me to partake of them sparingly as they were extremely hot. I had reason to thank my benefactor, for the fiery nature of Jamaica pickles is beyond description. This is because of a liberal use of the little red peppers that grow plentifully in that land. The native pickles are many and varied, and a bottle of mixed pickles is something to study. In them, the place of the cauliflower is supplied by bits of "mountain cabbage" as it is called, which comes from green, sword like spike at the top of the cabbage palm...

I suppose, my favorite article in American Kitchen Magazine (1899), is titled Culinary Customs of the Ancient by Elizabeth Orr Williams. I also had to include this Bayle's Horseradish Mustard ad. I actually saw this ad posted at The Mount Horeb Mustard Museum while I was researching National Mustard Day, August 2, 2008. I hope to be posting by then but, just in case, what do you think???

In all ages since civilization and Christianity began to develop the higher qualities of the human race, open-hearted and generous hospitality has always been esteemed highly honorable, whether it was the offering of couch for sleep or food to eat, or both. In the primitive ages of the world, there were no public inns or taverns. The wandering shepherds of the East received strangers among themselves, a form of hospitality of which modern people are more cautious, but they may harbor a villain disguised as a count-a complete titular humbug...From time immemorial it has been a frequent occurence with people enjoying the bounties of prosperity to give sumptuous dinners...Concerning beverages, it is said that the plebeian classes among the Mohammedans drank water; the rich and noble a beverage called sherbet; ale or beer was also used...The puff-paste of the present time possesses an antiquity by no means to be despised. We learn from the history of Joseph at Pharaoh's court it was the business of the chief of the culinary department to prepare pastry for the monarch's table, and that he did it with great care and fashioned it with a variety of elegant forms...During the Spartan government as conducted by Lycurgus, public meals were organized, so that the extravagance of an expensive cuisine should be suppressed. There had been no limit to the intricate and elaborate culinary preparation for feasts and banquets. Lycurgus ordered that all citizens should sit at the same common table, against which the wealthy classes rebelled. Each person was obliged to furnish every month a bushel of flour, eight measures of wine, five pounds of cheese, two pounds of figs, and a small sum of money for the cooking of the food...The Greeks and Romans were in the habit of taking a light lunch...Their feasts were always appointed at supper time...The hands were always washed before meals, as the food was conveyed from the dish to the mouth with the right hand, a custom which still prevails there. Knives and forks were unknown. Flesh hooks were used, and a separate portion was hooked out to each guest, and he who received two or more portions was considered highly honored. Drink was handed round in separate cups to each guest. The Egyptians, like the modern Orientals, drank after supper, while the servants stood by and obeyed every nod of their master...Throughout all the developments of culinary education in ancient and modern form we discover the same universal gastronomic creed that we must "eat to live" which, however, like many other creeds secular and sacred, is often distorted beyond its particular design by riotous living and undisciplined habits...The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the air we breathe, make the material trinity of the physical basis of our lives.

I'll spare you the article on the "digestion of starch" which is actually quite interesting and also the article on paprika which I will probably refer to at some later date. The final section I would like to share is the column hosted by Mrs. Lincoln titled Day To Day; department notes, queries and correspondence. She includes recipes for a Gentleman's Dinner with recipes that include Turkish Soup (interesting:) Brain Sauce, and English Ice Pudding, which is made with rice. I have scanned them for you, enjoy:) The seasonable dishes for August include sword fish, spaghetti with tomato, lobster salad and mayonnaise dressing. The dressing recipe takes up to pages so here it is. I guess they made it pretty much the same then as we do now.

Mayonnaise Dressing
Put one teaspoon each of mustard, salt, and powdered sugar, one-eighth teaspoon of paprika, and two raw egg yolks in a saucepan placed in a large pan of ice water. Stir with wooden spoon until egg is thick. Tilt the pan, pour in one tablespoon olive oil, and stir it in gradually. Add oil in larger quantities as you proceed, and stir each portion in thoroughly before adding more. When thick add one teaspoon lemon juice. Use in all one pint oil and two tablespoons each lemon juice and vinegar.

I really wanted to post some carrot cake recipes for Bugs Bunny's birthday which was July 27th but, that's about the time things started going awry here. When I saw this article titled the Carrot Cure, I just couldn't resist.

Not long ago an English mother took her daughter to see an eminent physician. Nothing seemed to be the matter with the girl, but she was pale and listless and did not care about doing anything. The doctor, after one consultation, prescribed for her a glass of claret three times a day with her meals. The mother was somewhat deaf, but apparently she heard all he said and bore off her daughter, determined to carry out the prescription to the very letter.
In ten days they were back again, and the girl looked a different creature. She was the picture of health, rosy and smiling, and the doctor congratulated himself on his keeness of insight.
"I am glad to see that your daughter is so much better," said he. "Yes," exclaimed the excited and grateful mother, "thanks to you, doctor! she has eaten carrots three times a day and sometimes oftener-once or twice uncooked-and now look at her!"

Hopefully, everything will calm down in time for Shredded Wheat Day (not really an official holiday anywhere else) but, according to my notes, Henry D. Perky and William H. Ford, of Watertown, NY, received a patent for a "Machine for the Preparation of Cereals for Food" (the economic reduction of cereals in the grain state to desirable forms of food without detracting from their natural nutritious qualities and virtue and for the better preparation of the same for more convenient and general use"); on August 1, 1893. If I don't make it in time to share a wonderful Shredded Wheat booklet, I will post for Mustard Day on Saturday. I hope you enjoyed American Kitchen Magazine. I may look for more of them but I think I would rather concentrate on finishing my American Cookery Magazine collection first.


  • 1. The Home Science Cook Book | by Mary J. Lincoln and Anna Barrows


  1. I was not familiar with either of these magazine until I started to read your work, and then I came across a copy of one at a friends home that had some great "holiday" recipes, that I'm not sure we'd serve these days, but are fun to read. By the way, how old is Bugs this year? :-)

  2. How do you know these things! Bugs Bunny's birthday1 Glad you won your bid. I never do so I gave up. You must have a great collection.

  3. Oh T.W. I'm so glad you got to read, feel and smell an issue of American Cookery. What year was it? Yes, the recipes are somewhat outdated and yet isn't it amazing how the procedures are often the same.

    BTW, Bugs was "officially born" July 27, 1940. Thank goodness he's at least older than me!
    Hi Courtney,
    I was thrilled to win. I actually had to ask the person to relist it as there were no bidders the first time. That's the only way I win LOL...

    As for "knowing these things," all I can say is, I have TONS of notes organized by month.

  4. What a wonderful magazine - and I love the ads!

  5. I loved the face on the bloke in the horseradish advertisement, it makes me want to buy the stuff! The magazine looks like a lot of fun and the autumn menu sounds a lot nicer than the one I published on my blog the other day!

    Oh, in English magazines you tend to find an awful lot of adverts for "revitalising salts" which are meant to be good for (ahem) "internal cleansing" and clearing the complexion. We appeared to be a nation of chronic indigestion sufferers back then...must be the creamed tripe.

  6. H Lidian,
    Honestly, I was thinking about your wonderful blog when I was posting these ads. You would have a BALL!!!

    Hi Dulce,
    Isn't it a "hoot"! The magazine is so interesting. I could read it over and over and still discover so many nifty things. I missed your autumn menu. I'm going to have to check it out.

    Do you know of any vintage English cooking magazines I should seek out? They sound like FUN too!


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise