An enticing browse–from recipes (ox-tail soup, eggs and spaghetti, prune whip) to household advice (“Did you know that if kid gloves are rubbed gently with bread-crumbs after each time they are worn they will remain cleaner than otherwise?”) to table manners (Noiseless and Deliberate Eating, Use of the Finger Bowl).
Just as diverting are the many dozens of fascinating ads, a number of them in two- and three-color printing. “For the Young Bride–the Spark Lidtop Range. “ “After the Honeymoon–Capital Milk.” “Masquerade Theatrical Costumes for Rent.” “Cleanliness is next to Godliness–Takara Antiseptic Douche Powder.” “Let us supply you with a little singer for your new home and furnish you a cage to blend and harmonize with color and tone of the room in which he is to live–Mrs. Harder’s Pet Shoppe.” Copies of this book are known for Salem, Oregon; Santa Barbara and Oakland, California, and other West Coast locations.
Our copy is in superior condition, clean and good-looking in every respect. A bound-in advertising card for the San Francisco Chronicle is detached but present in the book.
This is part of a special offering of bridal cookbooks
Although there may have been such books done elsewhere, there is something particularly American about the bridal book. Popular from the turn of the twentieth century until just before World War II, these were slender volumes distributed free of charge to newlyweds, primarily as vehicles for advertising goods and services relevant to their interests.
Frequently published with white bindings and coy titles, they contained ads for a mix of national products (Clorox, Pepsi Cola) and local businesses ranging from wedding photographers to furniture stores, banks and life insurance agencies. The editorial content was generally built around domestic life. Recipes were nearly always the core–many are identified specifically as cookbooks–but they also might contain household advice, ranging from stain removal or treating a cough to tips on how to keep “him” happy.
Although some of these books were produced in the communities where they were distributed, many others were developed by printers and other book packagers in a stock format and placed–often with title changes–in a number of cities and towns around the country. Local advertisers would then buy space to reach the large audience of young people ready to start a new home.