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OP: Twentieth Century Cook Book, The

OP: Twentieth Century Cook Book, The


Berkeley, California. 1914
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An interesting early bride’s book published in Berkeley, presumably as a fund-raiser, by the Twentieth Century Club, a women’s civic organization that existed from 1904 until 1989. Berkeley at the time had a population of barely 40,000 people, and while the recipes in the book are sometimes moderately sophisticated, with a few (such as a tamale de casuela) reflecting Mexican influence, the many advertisements–nearly a hundred of them–will be of particular interest to those who grew up in or otherwise came to know the city.

Marshall Steel, Dry Cleaner, 2124 Center Street, urges, “If you soil your clothes when cooking, send them to us”; The Varsity Candy Shop on Telegraph Avenue says, “Call for Campus Chocolates”; The Tea Kettle, 2315 Telegraph, offers dainty lunches and afternoon tea; wood and coal should be gotten from Brown & Nassie at Ashby and College; “hats stylishly trimmed to order” by Grace Lightner, Private Milliner in the El Granada Apartments; medical prescriptions from Mueller’s Pharmacy, University at Shattuck, are prepared with “Accuracy, Exceptional Purity, and Scientific Technique.”

Bound in white oilcloth and titled in green, the book is in Very Good condition. Clean and unmarked. Some very light surface cracking at the exterior hinges, with no effect whatsoever on the soundness of the binding. Cased-in without endpapers, the book shows staples at the front interior hinge, but again with no impact on the volume’s soundness. There are several reprint editions of this book, but the original is quite scarce and virtually never in this condition. [Note: not everyone might classify this as a bridal book, but the white binding and the general character of the contents have led us to treat it as such.]

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