June 22, 2006

Recipe Booklets from True Story Magazine

True Story, a pulp confessional magazine that began publication in 1919, joined in with many others in trying to capture homemaker interest through the issuance of recipe booklets.

The magazine, originally aimed at attracting the interest of both male and female working-class readers, contained "true" stories, written by anonymous authors. These stories had provocative titles such as "Did I Fail as a Woman?", "I Was Only Looking for Love" and "I Took Men at Their Word". These stories were considered quite racy and controversial for the times.

During the 1920s, in an effort to increase circulation and advertising revenues, the publisher began to target women readers by providing more female-oriented advertising and topics of interest.

The dedication page of 161 New Ways to a Man's Heart (1926, 56 pp.), one of the cookbooks published by the magazine, tells the following:

"A recent letter contest conducted by True Story Magazine on the subject, "How True Story has helped to make my home life happier," brought more than seven thousand letters from all over the country. These letters emphasize more strikingly than ever before the fact that the great proportion of True Story readers are women whose chief interests lie with their homes and families. Such women are naturally interested in good cooking; and it is for their appreciation and enjoyment that the unique collection of recipes included in "161 New Ways to a Man's Heart" was compiled and published. To all True Story readers who are homekeepers as well, this book is dedicated."

The Introduction is by Phoebe Dane, who professes 30 years experience as an old-fashioned home cook, and who shares in this cookbook her mother's recipes as well as some of her own, that she has prepared and perfected over the years.

This recipe booklet was so popular that two other editions, 219 New Ways To A Man's Heart and 333 New Ways to a Man's Heart, were also published during the next few years.

Although the booklet shown here contains only a few black and white product advetisements in the rear (Carnation Milk, Knox Gelatine, Post's Bran Flakes, Lux Dishwashing Soap and Seald-Sweet Florida Oranges and Grapefruits), the later editions contained many more.


At 6:04 AM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

looking for a old true story recipe called gingeroons cookies anyone? ,she has books dating back 30 years found the recipe and lost it the same day. HELP

At 7:33 PM CDT, Anonymous Ellen N said...

looking for 2 recipies from the 50's one was your White christmas cake the other was a Short beef ribs braised with tomatoes,onions bay leaf.cookd in the oven for a couple hours


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