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Louise Bowman cookbook


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Little is known about Louise Bowman, who created this volume.

Due to the presence of notes and experiments, and the nature of recipes in this volume, it was possibly created during the course of a cooking or home economics class.

Increased literacy and access to printed material in the 19th century led to an abundance of literature on homemaking and the 1862 Morrill Act established land-grants for colleges and mandated that those colleges offered instruction in "practical areas of endeavor." As many of these colleges were open to women, this mandate led to the creation of formal courses in domestic science and the principles of domesticity in the late 19th century.

The term "home economics" became standard at the 1899 Lake Placid Conferences and, by 1908, conference participants formed the American Home Economics Association which successfully lobbied for funding for the research and teaching of home economics.


"About Home Economics ." HEARTH, Cornell University Library Digital Collections, Accessed 11 Mar. 2024.

"History of Home Economics." Home Economics and Household Management, Middlebury College, Accessed 11 Mar. 2024.

This volume contains 87 culinary recipes in addition to printed material from a cooking class, including information on cooking and several recipes. It was compiled by Louise Bowman in the 1930s in the United States.

This volume begins with printed material from a cooking class, including required tools and equipment, rules, preparation and care of tools and equipment, table setting instructions, and tables of measurements and equivalents (p. 2-10). There are also numerous recipes clipped from the same printed material and provided in this volume with handwritten instructions, including spiced apples (p. 11), milk toast (p. 15), glazed sweet potatoes (p. 29), and nut brittle (p. 33).

There are additionally fully handwritten recipes in this volume, written in at least two hands. Examples of these recipes include corn meal muffins (p. 41), milkless, eggless, butterless cake (p. 47), olive oil pickles (p. 56), devil's food cake (p. 63), Pillsbury's cake flour recipes' two egg cake (p. 69), Ethel Keep's quick cup cakes (p. 78), and Shirley MacKellan's maple nut cake (p. 79).

Gift of Nick Malgieri.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kelin Baldridge Smallwood
Finding Aid Date
2024 March 14
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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Louise Bowman cookbook, circa 1930s.
Volume 1

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