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Food Thrift: Scraps from the Past
Constance Carter

Meet Constance Carter, Head, Science Reference Section, Science, Technology & Business Division, Library of Congress.

Constance Carter, Head of the Science Reference Section, Library of Congress, describes the resourceful ways American housewives found to feed their families during hard times of the past.

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Library of Congress Web Sites of Interest

American Women: A Gateway to the Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States
            In index, see housekeeping, cookery, and domestic life.

Library of Congress Online Catalog
            To search for materials on thrift, select Basic Search, then Expert Search.  Helpful
            Search phrases are “thrift and cookery,” “canning and preserving,” wheatless, meatless,
            “food and thrift.”

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1923

Other Web Sites of Interest

Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project External Link

Hearth: A Core Electronic Collection of Books and Journals in Home Economics and Related Disciplines Published Between 1850 and 1950 External Link
            From the Mann Library, Cornell University.

North American Women’s Letters and Diaries: Colonial to 1950 External Link
            Includes the immediate experiences of 1,325 women and 150 pages of diaries and letters.

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Other Materials of Interest

Print Sources on Thrift in the Home: Primary Sources

Alcott, William Andrus.  The Young-Housekeeper, or Thoughts on Food and Cookery.  2nd stereotype ed.  Boston: G. W. Light, 1838.
LC call number: TX145.A35

Allen, Ida Cogswell Bailey.  Solving the High Cost of Eating: A Cookbook to Live by.  New York: Farrar, c1952.
LC call number: TX715.A44246

Benson, Oscar Herman.  Home Canning and Food Thrift.  Albany: New York (State), Department of Farms and Markets, 1920.  (Bulletin, no. 130) 
LC call number: S95.A18, no. 130.

Bitting, A. W., and K. G. Bitting.  Canning and How to use Canned Foods.  Washington: National Canning Association, c1916.
LC call number: TX603.B57

Child, Lydia Maria Francis.  The American Frugal Housewife.  16th ed.  Boston: Carter, Hendee & Co., 1835.
LC call number: TX147.C53 1835

-----.  The Frugal Housewife.  Boston: March & Capen, and Carter & Hendee, 1829.
LC call number: TX147.C53 1829 RBK

Clarke, Ida Clyde Gallagher.  American Women and the World War.  New York, London: D. Appleton and Company, 1918. 
LC call number: D639.W7C5
Available online at

Clay-Clopton, Virginia.  A Belle of the Fifties: Memoirs of Mrs. Clay, of Alabama.  New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1905.
LC call number: F213.C63 Ft. Meade
Available online at

Confederate Receipt Book: A Compilation of Over One Hundred Receipts, Adapted to the Times.
Richmond, Va.: West & Johnston, 1863. 
LC call number: TX153.C7 RBK

Corson, Juliet.  Fifteen Cent Dinners for Families of Six.  NewYork: The Author, 1877.
LC call number: TX715.C835
Available online at

-----.  Twenty-five Cent Dinners for Families of Six.  17th ed.  New York: O. Judd Co., 1885.
LC call number: TX715.C847

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Creswell, Mary E., and Ola Powell.  Home Canning of Fruits and Vegetables, As Taught to Canning Club Members in Southern States.  Washington: Govt. Print. Off., 1917. (Farmers Bulletin, United States, Dept. of Agriculture, 853)
LC call number: S21.A6, no. 853

Doddridge, Amelia.  Liberty Recipes.  Cincinnati: Stewart & Kidd Company, 1918.
LC call number: TX715.D64 SciRR Desk 

Dodge, David.  “Domestic Economy in the Confederacy.”  Atlantic Monthly 58, no. 346 (Aug. 1886): 229-43.
LC call number: PN4900.A7A4
Available online in the volume at;idno=atla0058-2

Drying Fruits and Vegetables in the Home—with Recipes for Cooking.  Washington: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1917.  (Farmers’ Bulletin, 841)
LC call number: S21.A6, no. 841

Franks, Thetta Quay.  Efficiency in the Household: A Book for Every Woman.  Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1915. 
LC call number: TX728.F8

-----. The Margin of Happiness, the Reward of Thrift. New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1917.
LC call number: TX145.F67

Food Thrift: Suggestions, Menus, Recipes with Substitutes.  Boston:  Dept. of University Extension, Massachusetts Board of Education, 1917. (Bulletin, v. 2, no. 5, Sept. 1917.  Whole no. 11.)
LC call number: LC6252.M4A3

Goodfellow, Mrs.  Mrs. Goodfellow’s Cookery As It Should Be: A New Manual of the Dining Room and Kitchen.  Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Brothers, 1865.
LC call number: TX715.G651 SciRR Desk

Goudiss, C. Houston, and Alberta M. Goudiss. Foods That Will Win the War, and How to Cook Them.  New York: World Syndicate Company, c1918.
LC call number: TX357.G6

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Hague, Parthenia Antoinette.  A Blockaded Family: Life in Southern Alabama During the Civil War.  Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1888.
LC call number: Microfilm 8534 E

Handy, Amy L.  War Food: Practical and Economical Methods of Keeping Vegetables, Fruits and Meats.  Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1917.
LC call number: TX601.H2

Herrick, Christine Terhune.  Liberal Living Upon Narrow Means.  Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1890.
LC call number: TX715.H563

Hill, Janet McKenzie.  Canning, Preserving and Jelly Making.  Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1915.
LC call number: TX601.H6

-----.  War Time Recipes.  Cincinnati:  Proctor and Gamble Company, c1918.
LC call number: TX715.H678 SciRR

Howland, E. A.  The New England Economical Housekeeper, and Family Receipt Book.  Worcester: S. A. Howland, 1845.
LC call number: TX715.H863 1845 SciRR

Hughes, Dora Morrell.  Thrift in the Household.  Boston: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1918.
LC call number: TX145.H88

Hurn, Ethel Alice.  Wisconsin Women in the War Between the States.  Madison: Wisconsin History Commission, 1911.  (Wisconsin History Commission. Original Papers, no. 6.)
LC call number: E537.4.W8, no. 6

Kinghorne, J. W.  Preserving Eggs.  Washington: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1920.  (Farmers Bulletin, 1109.)
LC call number: S21.A6, no. 1109

Knight, Mrs. S.G.  Tit-bits or, How to Prepare a Nice Dish at a Moderate Expense.  Boston: Crosby and Nichols; New York: O. S. Felt, 1864.
LC call number: TX715.K689 SciRR

Lusk, Graham.  Food in War Time.  Philadelphia, London: W. B. Saunders Company, 1918.
LC call number: TX357.L8

Morton, Lillian.  Thrift Cook Book for the Economical Housewife: Proven Recipes of Delicious Foods Helping to Conserve Wheat, Sugar, Beef, and Other Expensive Materials, and Still Supply Attractive and Healthful Meals at Home.  Chicago: Shrewsbury Publishing Co., c1918.
LC call number: TX715.M9 SciRR

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Murphy, Bessie R., comp.  Legumes: Dried Beans, Peas, Lentils for Breakfast, Dinner, Supper.  Chicago, New York: Rand, McNally and Co., c1920.
LC call number:

Murphy, Margot.  Wartime Meals, How to Plan Them, How to Buy Them, How to Cook Them.  New York: Greenberg, 1942.
LC call number: TX357.M88

National War Garden Commission.  Home Drying Manual for Vegetables and Fruits.  Washington: National Emergency Food Garden Commission, c1917.
LC call number: TX609.N3

Neil, Marion Harris.  Canning, Preserving and Pickling.  Philadelphia: D. McKay, c1914.
LC call number TX601.N5

-----.  The Thrift Cook Book.  Philadelphia: D. McKay, c1919.
LC call number TX715.N396 SciRR

“Our Women in the War.” The Lives They Lived, the Deaths They Died.  Charleston, S.C.: The News and Courier Book Presses, 1885.
LC call number: Microfilm 8548 E

Paul, Sara T. The Economical Cook Book.  Philadelphia: The International Press, c1905.
LC call number: TX715.P327

Porcher, Francis Peyre.  Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests, Medical, Economical, and Agricultural.  New ed.  Charleston: Walker, Evans & Cogswell, Printers, 1869.
LC call number: SB108.U6S76 1869
Available online at

Richardson, Anna Steese Sausser.  Adventures in Thrift.  Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., c1916.      
LC call number: TX356.R5

Rorer, Sara Tyson (Heston).  Canning and Preserving.  Philadelphia: Arnold and Company, 1887.
LC call number: TX601.R78

Smith, Coral B.  New Dishes from Left-Overs.  New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1933.
LC call number: TX715.S6515

United Daughters of the Confederacy. South Carolina Division.  South Carolina Women in the Confederacy:  Records Collected by Mrs. A. T. Smythe, Miss M. B. Poppenheim and Mrs. Thomas Taylor.  Ed. and pub. by Mrs. Thomas Taylor, Chairman, Mrs. Smythe, Mrs. August Kohn, Miss Poppenheim, Miss Martha B. Washington, State Committee, Daughters of the Confederacy.  Columbia, S.C.: The State Company, 1903-7.
LC call number:  E577.U58

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United States. Dept. of Agriculture.  Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture, 1886.  Washington: Govt. Print. Off., 1887.
LC call number: S21.A2, 1886

Walker, C. Irvine, comp.  The Women of the Southern Confederacy During the War 1861-5: Original Historic Incidents of Their Heroism, Suffering and Devotion.  Published in “Our Women in the War” supplements to leading newspapers in Tennessee and Mississippi, together with Arkansas memorial, clipped from original publications and arranged under direction of Gen’l C. Irvine Walker ... under whose general supervision, aiding the work for the memorials to the women of the confederacy, the various supplements were published.  Charleston, S.C.: n.p.,  1908.
LC call number:  E487.W852 fol.

-----, comp.  The Women of the Southern Confederacy During the War 1861-5: Original Historic Incidents of their Heroism, Suffering and Devotion. Published in “Our Women in the War” supplements to leading newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama, clipped from original publications and arranged under direction of Gen’l C. Irvine Walker ... under whose general supervision, aiding the work for the memorials to the women of the confederacy, the various supplements were published.  Charleston, S.C.: n.p., 1906?
LC call number:  E487.W85 fol.

Watkins, John Elfreth.  “Our Daily Bread: What the Government Chemists are Learning About our Food Faults.”  Reader: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine 6 (June 1905): 61-68.
LC call number: AP2.R25

Wilson, Mary Elizabeth Lyles, Mrs. W. H. Wilson, and Mollie Huggins.  Good Things to Eat.  Nashville, Tenn., Dallas, Tex.: Publishing House of the M. E. Church, Smith & Lamar, Agents, 1909.
LC call number: TX715.W7515

Wright, Julia McNair.  The Complete Home.  Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Ohio, etc.: J. C. McCurdy & Co., 1879.
LC call number: HQ734.W95

Print Sources on Thrift in the Home: Secondary Sources and Modern Examples

Bentley, Amy.  Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, c1998.
LC call number: D810.W7B45 1998

Burroughs, Frances M.  “The Confederate Receipt Book: A Study of Food Substitution in the American Civil War.”  South Carolina Historical Magazine 93 (1992): 31-50.
LC call number: F266.S55

Chambers, Trish.  Civil War Women: Their Roles and Legacies.  Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, 2005.
LC call number: E628.C46 2005

Currie, Stephen. Women of the Civil War.  San Diego: Lucent Books, c2003.
LC call number: E628.C87 2003

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Davis, William C.  A Taste for War: the Culinary History of the Blue and the Gray.  Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, c2003.
LC call number: E468.9.D285 2003

Eighmey, Rae Katherine.  Food Will Win the War: Minnesota Crops, Cooks, and Conservation during World War I.  St Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 2010.
LC call number: TX357.E45 2010

Lawson, Laura J.  City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in America.  Berkeley: University of California Press, c2005.
LC call number: SB457.3.L49 2005 <SciRR>

Pilato, Denise E.  The Retrieval of a Legacy: Nineteenth-Century American Women Inventors.
Westport, Conn.: Prager, 2000.
LC call number: T36.P55 2000 <SciRR>

Rumble, Victoria R.  Soup Through the Ages: A Culinary History with Period Recipes.  Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., Inc., c2009.
LC call number: TX757.R86 2009

Shephard, Sue.  Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006. 
LC call number: TX601.S47 2006 <SciRR>

Simkins, Francis Butler, and James Welch Patton. Women of the Confederacy.  Richmond, New York: Garrett and Massie, Inc., c1936.
LC call number: E628.S56

Solomon, Steve.  Gardening When it Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times.  Gabriola Island,
BC: New Society Publishers, c2005.
LC call number: SB321.S64 2005

Spaulding, Lily May, and John Spaulding, eds. Civil War Recipes: Receipts from the Pages of Godey’s Lady’s Book. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, c1999.
LC call number: TX715.C57427 1999

Sperling, John G.  Great Depressions: 1837-1844, 1893-1898, 1929-1939.  Chicago: Scott, Foresman, 1966.
LC call number: HB3743.S6

Wolf, Ray, ed.  Eating Better for Less: A Guide to Managing your Personal Food Supply.  Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press, c1978.
LC call number: TX601.E37

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Atlantic Monthly.  LC call number: AP2.A8
Cooking Club Magazine.  LC call number: TX1.C8
Delineator.  LC call number: TT500.D3
Farmer’s Wife.  LC call number: S1.F72
Forecast for Home Economists. LC call number: TX1.F7
Good Housekeeping.  LC call number: TX1.G7,,
The Household.  LC call number: TX1.H78
Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine and Commercial Review. LC call number: HF1.M5
Ladies’ Home Journal.  LC call number: Microfilm 05422 (1884-1907); 06262 (1908- ),,,,
Table Talk.  LC call number: TX1.T3
Thrift Magazine.  LC call number: HG7931.A1T4
To-day’s Housewife.  LC call number: TX1.T6
United States. Committee on Public Information.  Official U. S. Bulletin.  LC call number:     D570.A2A3
United States. Dept. of Agriculture.  Food Thrift Series.  LC call number: TX341.U6
Woman’s Weekly.  LC call number: AP2.W734
Woman’s World.  LC call number: AP2.W74,

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