What America Ate Digital Archive Houses Great Depression Era Artifacts

1067 Words Oct 24th, 2016 5 Pages
The What America Ate digital archive houses Great Depression Era artifacts that may allow scholars to study how Americans purchased, prepared, ate, and shared food. Two hundred American community cookbooks make up one section. In many American communities, members of local organizations compiled cookbooks for fundraising purposes. For scholars, these grassroots cookbooks offer social, cultural, political, and economic context to the organizations and communities. This paper will discuss three 1930s cookbooks stored in the What America Ate archive. This paper will determine if the cookbooks reflect common threads to formulate understanding of American foodways. The paper will also examine the cookbooks for any historical context about the organization, community, or contributors. Paired with analysis of each cookbook will be a document from the America Eats project collection. In conclusion, the paper will consider if the cookbooks and documents indicate that the archive is a useful tool for scholars to determine a over-arching “American cuisine” and to understand American foodways.
The Gaylord Avenue Welsh Presbyterian Church in Plymouth, Pennsylvania compiled a 55-page cookbook in 1939. An introduction provided a brief history of the Sunday school class that published the cookbook. It stated that the class was a “union” of male and female church members. This may indicate that it was a small church. Many contributors possessed common Welsh surnames, but there were…

Related Documents