Assembled by Lynnette E. Foucher, this collection consists chiefly of cookbooks produced by food companies between the 1920s-1970s. These cookbooks reflect the changing role of women in the home as well as new food trends and innovative technology. Taken together, the collection offers a glimpse into the way meal preparation changed in the U.S. during the second half of the twentieth century and how this change transformed the way we eat today.
The collection is open for research.
Collector Lynnette E. Foucher assembled this cookbook collection and organized it into twenty-two distinct groups based on ingredient (exs. chocolate, yeast), company (ex. Pillsbury), and region (exs. local, international). While the bulk of the collection represents the period of the 1920s-1970s, it contains items from as early as 1902 and as late as 2000. Its strength lies in its documentation of corporations marketing their products to consumers, in particular to the American housewife.
From Lever Brothers Company's 10 Cakes Husbands Like Best (1952) to General Electric's Meals Go Modern Electrically (1940) cookbooks offered companies a unique opportunity to enter a woman's home where they continued to influence what she prepared and how she prepared it long after she left the market. These corporate cookbooks often promised women something greater than a delicious cake; they promised to provide them more free time to spend with their families, ways to economize, and a more glamorus lifestyle. As a result this collection is a rich source for the study of modern household technology, cooking and food trends, women's history, and consumerism during the 20th century
Acquired from Lynette E. Foucher, 2010.
Processed by Dex Haven, August 2010.
The Lynnette E. Foucher Cookbook Collection is part of the larger McIntosh Cookery Collection also housed in the UMass Amherst Special Collections. To browse or search items in the cookery collection, visit the web site.
Cite as: Lynnette E. Foucher Cookbook Collection (MS 684). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.