May 19, 2006

Rumford Baking Powder Recipe Bulletins

The Rumford Company published a series of small recipe Bulletins that were used as advertising premiums for their baking powder.

In his book, A Guide to Collecting Cookbooks, Colonel Bob Allen lists five booklets in this series and he shows the publication dates as 1919, along with the information that they were all 16 pages in length:

Rumford Company Department of Home Economics - Dainty Desserts
Rumford Company Department of Home Economics - Left-Overs
Rumford Company Department of Home Economics - Good Breads
Rumford Company Department of Home Economics - Meat Substitutes
Rumford Company Department of Home Economics - Salads

So far, in looking through my own collection and also consulting other sources, I haven't been able to locate any of these booklets that actually show the 1919 date. I have located others with the same or similar titles, but they aren't dated. So I don't know if the booklets he mentions actually showed the date or if he used other resources not mentioned that positively confirmed those publishing dates.

The stapled booklets that I have are simple in design, being printed entirely in black and white with no illustrations other than the Count Rumford cameo logo on the front and rear covers. They are 16 pages in length and measure approximely 4 x 5-3/4 inches in size.

I have shown the Salads Bulletin (W-79) in the photo here.

Sometimes it's fun to try and determine the publishing date on a booklet that doesn't provide one.

In 1912 the company name was changed from The Rumford Chemical Works to The Rumford Company. Their Department of Home Economics was also established that same year. Since this booklet was published by The Rumford Company Home Economics Department, we know that it could not be dated before 1912.

Information from other Rumford cookbooks and product advertising shows that the baking powder was often distributed in one-pound and half-pound containers. According to Colonel Allen, the company discontinued the one-pound container and began packaging the baking powder in 12-ounce containers sometime during the late 1920's. He also states that "each pound can of baking powder had a Rumford company card inside and when the housewife saved some of these cards they could be sent to the company for premiums."

Salads is obviously one of these premiums as indicated by the offer on the rear page of the booklet:

(Your Choice FREE)

Send us one card found in the one pound or 12 ounce can of Rumford Baking Powder, and we will mail you either of the following Bulletins:

Good Breads
Meat Substitutes
Cakes and Cookies
Delicious Drinks and Dainty Desserts

If you wish additional number of Bulletins, enclose in an envelope a card for each desired, and mail to:
The Rumford Company
Providence, R.I.

So the following discrepancies pose more questions than answers as to whether or not this booklet was from the 1919 series or from a later printing.

  • The mention of both one-pound cans and 12-ounce cans. Could this booklet have been printed during the transition period?

  • The list on the back of this booklet also includes an additional title, Cakes and Cookies, which was not mentioned in Colonel Allen's book.

  • The words (and presumably, the recipes) "Delicious Drinks" have been added to the Dainty Desserts. Did Colonel Allen leave those words off or were they added in a later edition?
If anyone knows the answer to these questions, I'd love to hear from you so I could find out for sure.


At 4:49 PM CST, Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

Wow! Kathy,
what a GREAT post!!!! I was just doing a search for Col. Allen as I prepare for my Betty Crocker post for tomorrow and who should pop up but you!

You really do get into the "meat" of these things and for that, I thank you!

P.S. I'll be "grabbing" one of your Betty Crocker links for tomorrow's post. It will be posted late but hopefully, I will make it:)


Post a Comment

<< Home