Anyone Else Like Antique Cookbooks? Especially Ebooks?


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Anyone Else Like Antique Cookbooks? Especially Ebooks?

Dez 27, 2012, 5:13 am

Got a Kindle Fire for my Christmas present and I'm going crazy downloading tons of free out of print antique cookbooks.

I'm sure I'm not the only one out there. So where are the other fans of 1800's and 1900's cookbooks?

Dez 27, 2012, 8:37 am

My partner and I go the opposite direction from Kindle and such larks. We love old hand-writen cookbooks: they give not merely food-information, but remarkable glimpses into people's lives.

Dez 27, 2012, 12:13 pm

I love downloading antique cookbooks as ebooks. When I got my ereader 2 years ago, they were one of my first discoveries on googlebooks. I love them as much, if not more, for their historical interest factor as for actually trying recipes. Some of my favorites include regional cookbooks (Louisiana for one!) and cookbooks of international cuisine. I was surprised how many of these existed in the 19th/early 20th centuries. And as for Harry's comment, I love coming across old handwritten recipes or recipe collections, though these are somewhat harder to come by!

Dez 27, 2012, 12:33 pm

I often consult antique cookbooks for research purposes, so I'm totally open to using online and e-book versions. I do have a fair number of reprints but they aren't books that I use, and it is easier to search through them in their e-book forms when I am looking, for example, for recipes on how people in Jane Austen's era prepared eel.

Dez 27, 2012, 12:37 pm

In re #4. Yes, dear friend, but even an old cookbook won't say WHY (hoho). Peace, -- G

Dez 27, 2012, 1:01 pm

Right now I've been checking out antique jam and jelly making. It's interesting to see society's taste shift from spicy and sour to sweet and cloying.

Dez 27, 2012, 1:47 pm

In re #6. I suspect that economics has something to do with it: aggresive marketing of sugar as (allegedly) more convenient than honey or molasses, and the price-diiferential over real/wholesome flavourings, particularly in mid- to late 2oth Century America, Land of the Almighty Price-Supports to Corporate Agriculture. Cheers -- and stand up for the cause of spicy righteousness. I'm right there with you. -- Goddard. PS: my partner adds that the variety of fruits available for preserves, baking, etc has likewise shrunk terribly. Even those of us who live in the country have some long searches; I despairr for those in big cities, unless they want to pay absurd premium prices for what once was available at farm-stands

Dez 27, 2012, 2:04 pm

Yes indeed. These, or recent books giving ancient recipes. Among my favourites on my shelves or more often next to my chair, are a 1905 Mrs Beeton, a strange offering called To the King's Taste (mediaeval English) and two reconstructions of Apicius. The OP gives me a good way to expand this set.

Dez 27, 2012, 5:27 pm

I recently treated myself to copy of The Cookbook Library, compiled from the fabulous collection of historic cookbooks of Ann Willan and her husband. This is a really handsome book and it includes recipes adapted for modern use.

I didn't realise that you could get antique cookbooks online. I'm not sure the idea appeals to me. I do have the Kindle edition of The Flavour Thesaurus though, and the hyperlinks make it easy to navigate your way through the tangle of cross-references.

I am currently reading Culinary Pleasures which is a history of English cookbooks from Mrs Beeton onwards. Food is a very important element of social history, often overlooked, and cookbooks reflect changes in how people live.

Dez 29, 2012, 12:03 pm

This is enlightening. I didn't even know antique cook books were available out there. Must go browsing.

Editado: Dez 29, 2012, 3:39 pm

I got this list from an e-list & sent it to my daughter-in-law who loved them:

Old Cook Books (late 1800's & early 1900's)--

Here are links to complete e-copies of old cookbooks that can be read
online and downloaded for free in PDF format, at and
Google e-books.

Some have directions for folk remedies...

Ryzon baking book - 1917


Worcester family cook book (1895)

Rumford Complete Cook Book - 1908

The Calumet cook book (1916)

Royal Baking Powder Company Cook Book - 1886

Metropolitan Cookbook - booklet from 1964

The Chinese cook book (1917)

Chinese cook book (1917)

The Manila cook book (1919) - Union Church of Manila (Philippines)

How We Cook In Los Angeles - 1894

Unitarian Church cook-book - (Manchester, N.H .) - 1905

The Dixie cook-book (1883)

The East Milwaukee cook-book (1917)

The Captain's Lady cookbook--personal journal : circa, Massachusetts 1837-1917

Dixie cookery; or, How I managed my table for twelve years. A
practical cook-book for southern housekeepers (1867)

Cooking for profit : a new American cookbook adapted for the use of
all who serve meals for aprice (1893)

The new Dixie cook-book and practical housekeeper, carefully comp.
from the treasured familycollections of many generations of noted
housekeepers: (1889)

The Century cook book (1899)

The Eta cook book (1914)

The Mansfield cook book (1890)

The national cook book (1856)

Atlanta woman's club cook book - 1921

you can read for free or download in PDF for free at

Ryzon Baking Powder Baking Book - (1917)

Gold Medal Flour Cook Book (1910)

The Hotel St. Francis Cook Book, San Francisco, CA (1919)

Boston Cooking-School cook book (1910) (Fannie Farmer Cook Book)

The Settlement cook book (1948)

The White House cook book (1899)

Mrs. Lincoln's Boston cook book (1911)

Worcester family cook book (1895)

The National Cook Book (1856)

The Blue grass cook book (1917)

The Chinese cook book (1917)

The Dixie cook-book (1883)

How We Cook In Los Angeles - (1894)

The Rocky mountain cook book (1903)

Cloud City cook-book - Leadville, CO (1889)

Dez 29, 2012, 3:48 pm

Nice. There's also this site- They have a bunch of scans of recipe books mostly from the early-mid 20th century.

Jan 2, 2013, 8:02 pm

I have starred this thread. I need to go back and explore some of these when I have a chance!

Jan 10, 2013, 7:52 am

Thanks to everyone for such a wonderful response.

After looking everywhere and being unable to find it a friend of mine scanned his old falling-apart copy of twain's feast.

The authors goes on search of the food found throughout Twain's writings and memoirs and his effort to try and cook them. Looks intriguing and soon to be on my reading list.

Out 25, 2020, 5:31 pm

>11 PhaedraB: gives a great list of old cookbooks available to download free.
Worth a bump!