and eating habits are a compelling tool for examining culture. Culinary
histories illuminate national and ethnic identities and evolving gender
roles, thereby shedding light on shifting social boundaries, changing
patterns of family life, and national aspirations and values. The food
habits of European colonists and Western homesteaders, for example, testified
to the difficult and often primitive conditions of rural and frontier
life. By contrast, at the end of the 19th century, Americas expanding
economy and growing upper class fueled desires for elegance and self-indulgence
with respect to food. By the early 1900s, labor-saving kitchen devices
created more leisure time, allowing for a greater enjoyment of food as
entertainment. In the mid-20th century, revolutions in agriculture and
food technology transformed eating into big business, separating most
Americans from food production entirely.
The exhibition presents items selected from Cornell Librarys growing
collection of rare books and manuscripts devoted to food historyworks
that uncover some of our forgotten domestic practices, as well as the
cooking and eating experiences of earlier generations.
to Early Cookbooks
© 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript
2B Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853
Phone Number: (607) 255-3530. Fax Number: (607) 255-9524
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