Seattle: Trade Register Print, 1909. First Edition. Original yellow and white publisher's cloth boards, depicting waving pennants of "Votes for Women" and "Good Things to Eat" above the title. Gentle bumps and edgewear to foot and crown of spine and to corners. Minimal soiling to covers and edges of text block not affecting the interior. Front hinge tender. Light internal staining limited to the Additional Recipes section of the book, which contains sixteen pages of handwritten recipes in a contemporary hand plus four pasted-in recipes. Else an internally clean and complete copy of this rarity on the market, which has appeared only once at auction.
As American women pushed toward suffrage, state associations produced and sold practical materials to raise money to support their lobbying efforts. This cookery manual is an important example. Released only one year before Washington became the fifth state to support the 19th Amendment, this cookbook promoted women's equality by embracing female domestic innovation as opposed to denying it. "A preface to a compilation of cooking recipes may seem to many to be quite unnecessary, but let us look deeper for a moment and we will see that modern cooking represents the evolution of civilized life. Students of the human race declare it was woman who first discovered how to build a fire...with the ability to make fire began cookery." Arguing that the position of wife, mother, and household manager made it necessary for women to vote on matters of importance, the Washington Equal Suffrage Association assessed and chose recipes from among multiple submissions, ensured that all who contributed were publicly thanked, and dedicated the result "To the first woman who realized that hald of the human race were not getting a square deal, and who had the courage to voice a protest; and also to the long line of women from that day into this." Throughout the text, inspiring suffrage quotations head sections including Entrees, Cheese Dishes, Canning & Preserving, The Vegetarian Department, Bread, and The Mountaineer's Chapter featuring recipes for campfires and rural life. Additional chapters share tips on household management and the creation of hygiene and cosmetic products. Notably, the book also reproduces articles and essays on the suffrage movement, to remind women in the kitchens of their homes that they should pursue equality. Among these are Science in the Kitchen, Progress of Woman Suffrage, and How Washington Women Lost the Vote. An exceptional and rare surviving piece, which documents a new approach and a new age in women's pursuit of equality. "Washington women's success in 1910 [as the first state to ratify in the 20th century] helped inspire the campaign that culminated in the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, when women won the right to vote" (Stevenson).
Not in Krichmar. Very Good + (Item #2252)