Small cookbooks, primarily in pamphlet form, produced either by the manufacturer of one of the ingredients or by the manufacturer of appliances used in preparing the recipe. These cookbooks also advertise the products represented. Collection includes pamphlets on canning, canning labels, recipes from newspapers, and several regional cookbooks, including Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
Scope and Contents:
The bulk of the collection is product cookbooks published by food and kitchen appliance manufacturers. One of the strengths of this collection is its inclusion of pamphlets from regional manufacturers located in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska along with a few items from Canada. Also included are pamphlets on canning, canning labels, recipes clipped from local newspapers, and several regional cookbooks. The collection is divided into three series. Product cookbooks, alphabetized by manufacturer, comprise the first series. The second series consists of cookbooks, filed alphabetically, not associated with a specific manufacturer, and the third series contains three folders of ephemera sorted by type (labels, refund packaging, newspaper clippings, etc.)
The collection is arranged into three series.
Series 1: Product Cookbooks
Series 2: General Cookbooks
Series 3: Ephemera .
Biographical / Historical:
Born March 3, 1911, in Tacoma, Washington, the donor was known as Frances Jensen before she was adopted by her stepfather and her name was changed to Bjorkman. She graduated with a BS degree from the College of Puget Sound (now the University of Puget Sound) in 1932 and then taught high school before earning a Masters Degree about 1939 in botany from the University of Washington. After working as a lab technician in Sedro Woolley, Washington, for several years, she moved to Ketchikan, Alaska, in 1944. In 1945 she married Alfred Baker, and he joined her in Alaska after his war-time service in the Navy. In 1965 Mr. Baker retired, and the couple, who had no children, moved to Sumas, Washington, where Mr. Baker had grown up. Mr. Baker died in 1982 and Mrs. Baker continued to live in the family home until mid-1997 when she moved into an assisted-living facility.
Mrs. Baker claims she did not set out to collect product cookbooks, but that "anything that's paper sticks to me," and that "it's easy to make a collection if you never throw anything away." Some cookbooks were gathered by her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. While Mrs. Baker rarely used recipes from the booklets she gathered, she said she was "quite competitive" and regularly entered jams, jellies, and pickles in the Whatcom (Washington) County Fair where she won enough "blue and red ribbons" to fill a shoe box. She had a vegetable and flower garden every year from 1946 through the summer of 1997, and flowers from her garden also won awards at the fair. The information in this section was obtained during a telephone conversation on October 14, 1997, between Mrs. Baker and Susan Strange. Mrs. Baker died June 11, 1999.
Most of the collection was acquired in a random fashion by Mrs. Baker though some items were given her by her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Mrs. Baker had corresponded with the Smithsonian Libraries in 1991 about a possible donation of the cookbooks, but it was not until the summer of 1997, as she was moving into an assisted-living facility, that Mrs. Baker actually donated the collection. A few items, including almanacs, have been added to the Dibner Library.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.