Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book, 1884: First edition, first printing of one of the most famous cookbooks of the United States, Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book. Copyrighted in 1883, then published in 1884 by Roberts Brothers, Boston. with the marbled green and black boards, with green cloth green spine cover and binding. 536 pages including index, seven pages of illustrated advertisements, AND 22 blank pages for additional recipes. All the blank pages are still blank. This cookbook was reprinted many times, through at least 1900. Later printings have many more pages of advertising.
We’ve had probably 20 copies of this cookbook in the 25 years we’ve been selling cookbooks on-line. This copy is one of the best. The boards are worn along the edges and at the corners. The spine cover has a bit of shelf wear along the top and the base. The back of the cover is rubbed. The hinges are perfect! The binding is tight. The title page is loose from the binding. Every page is clean and clear. This cookbook sat on a shelf and was never really used.
Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book has a great subtitle: What To Do and What Not To Do in Cooking. Of course, the book was used as the text for the famous Boston Cooking School, founded in 1879 by the Woman’s Educational Association of Boston. Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln (Mrs. David A.) was invited to teach at the school in November, 1879; she later became the school’s first principal. Following its successful start, the school was incorporated in 1883 as the Boston Cooking School Corporation. Famous cookbook authors Maria Parloa and Fannie Merritt Farmer were also affiliated with the Boston Cooking School. Farmer’s Boston Cooking-School Cook Book has been continuously in print, in several formats, since its first edition in 1896.
Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book included extensive advice for those who wished to operate a school of cooking in a chapter entitled “An Outline of Study for Teachers.” Mrs. Lincoln touted her book as “not only a collection of recipes,” but a book “which shall also embody enough of physiology, and of the chemistry and philosophy of food, to make every principle intelligible to a child and interesting to the mature mind.” Wonderful gift!
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