I saw this book on one of my favorite treasure sites Garage Sale Chic Chester County. The owner Kim has a great eye, and well today she just got me. She also prices fairly.
She put up a photo of a book she had for sale called “The Successful Housekeeper” dated 1882. More than fair condition for it’s age and at $12 it had to be mine.
So I took a little drive over to see her in West Chester, and also discovered a fun litho too called “The Lucky Rich” that is so Downton Abbey it makes me giggle.
But back to this book, which I have now learned was a housewife’s bible of the time and still has people seeking it out. Written by Mrs. Milon W. Ellsworth in 1882, it advertised itself as a “Manual of Universal Application; Especially Adapted to the Every Day Wants of American Housewives.”
Thanks to the Library of Congress, you can actually check out this cool piece of Americana out on the web. Someone actually reprinted it in 2009.
There are recipes, homemaking tips, entertaining tips, a section on rearing children, growing flowers. You name it, it is like Betty Crocker meets Good Housekeeping only so much more fun given the era of publication.
My copy is a little dog- eared, but whomever originally owned it also added her own recipes.
This will be fun to go through!