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The Vintage Vertigo Team ~ An Etsy Team Spirit Finalist

25 January 2015

Collecting Cookbooks

Our last post was about one of our favorite subjects on the Vintage Vertigo Team, Food! Several of us shared some of our special soup recipes, so what better segue than to go right to the source of more fabulous recipes and take a look at vintage cookbooks!

Vintage Electrolux Refrigerator Recipe Booklet 1930s Advertising

Icicle Garden

Capturing a snapshot in time! 
The humble cookbook has become a highly desirable item in the book collecting world. Especially the booklets produced as advertising for manufacturers like Betty Crocker, Jell-O, General Foods and appliance makers such as Oster, Electrolux and others.

Even if undated, simply looking at the clothing, hairstyles and verbiage will give you an idea of the decade it's from. These cookbooks not only have fabulous and interesting recipes, but some incredible vintage images and illustrations!

 The Electric Cook Book 1960 Cookbook Paperback Cookbook
The Electric Cook Book 1960

Dottie Digs Vintage

What's Popular
I did some poking around online and found out some of the latest trends. Subjects popular now are Jell-O, chocolate, and baking powder. Appliance manufacturers are strong too.

 Cookies Galore Cookbook ~ 1956 ~ General Foods Corp


 A Cookery Expert's New Recipes - 1920's Hershey Chocolate - Vintage Cookbook

Upward Trends
A new trend is towards children's cookbooks, power companies (gas, electric),and liquor companies. I can attest to this because all of my gas and power company cookbooks sold within the last three months!


1950's Cook Book for Children

Pink Neon Vintage

Best Value
Cookbooks from the 1930's - 1960's can be snapped up for just a few dollars. Many are out of print and quite sought after. A few highly collectible books may fetch upwards to $100. Once a book has gone out-of-print, it becomes increasingly difficult to find and its value increases as it becomes more collectible.

 Quick Dishes for the Woman in a Hurry - 332 Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less - Pub. 1972

Oblivion Books

Age and Condition
It must be nice and old!  Condition is the key factor. Look for a pristine copy that appears to have been lovingly read rather than frequently used with those tell-tale stains and smudges. Older out-of-print books are generally more sought after than newer ones. Other things to consider are whether the book has been signed by the author or is a first edition.

Cookbook Tour with Minute Tapioca published 1929

Look for Famous Illustrators
I find the illustrations in some of these cookbooks quite lovely.  Most illustrators in these booklet sized cookbooks, were not given any credit.  If you do find an illustrator credit, then they are probably well known in the trade, even if you don't recognize the name.  Here are a few more prominent names that did illustrations for food and appliance companies cookbooks....

Andy Warhol, Rose O'Neill (originator of the Kewpie doll)
Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell. Lesser known artists,
Laura Jean Allen, Frank Marcello, Harry O. Diamond.

Other Considerations
Look for the unusual, quirky, strange and funny!  Those are perfect descriptions of a good collectible cookbook!

20s Vintage Cookbook Yacht Club Manual of Salads Advertising Cookbook Printed in 1923 
Yacht Club Manual of Salads 1923

 Annes Accumulations

Store recipe booklets flat in a cool, dry place or keep them in archival plastic sleeves out of UV light and always handle with clean hands.

                  Most of all Collect What You Love!

All the featured cookbooks above are from members of the Vintage Vertigo Team on Etsy. Click on the highlighted link below each image to find out more information about the item.
Thanks for visiting, come again soon!
~ Diane ~


Team Vintage Vertigo said...

Your post is great Diane!! Nice read and love the vintage cookbooks!

Anne's Accumulations said...

Enjoyed reading about all the vintage cookbooks currently offered by the Vintage Vertigo Team members!

Anne's Accumulations said...

Great job!

Leigh Blake said...

Great research Diane. I collect cookbooks and must have over 100, one being my grandma with handwritten notes. Priceless

Anonymous said...

Very nice article!

Anonymous said...

Lots of good ideas to add to my cookbook collection!


Danielle said...

Terrific post! Thank you for including me!

John said...

Diane, this is such a wonderful article. Vintage cookbooks are a very popular collecting niche. These old recipe cookbooks have some fantastic artwork. Thank you for a very informative and interesting read!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous blog..

EarthLites said...

I love cookbooks and enjoyed this very much. Thank you!

Blue Moon Attic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Moon Attic said...

I also collect cookbooks and love the selections featured here. Great job, Diane!

kinseysue said...

Wonderful post - thank you for including the illustrators. My personal prized cookbook is the GWTW booklet. It's a bit tattered but still special.

CraveCute said...

Thanks everyone for stopping in! See you soon!

PS Simply Vintage said...

Love the cook books, I should look through my pile for the old ones :-)

OurVintageNest said...

I love old cookbooks...wonderful post!

Vintage Vertigo said...

Thanks for visiting our Blog!