The Cook’s Own Book, and Housekeeper’s Register

 Published in Boston in 1833, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection by a recognized culinary authority of her time was one of the most popular cookbooks of 19th century America. It was the first culinary arts encyclopedia to be organized alphabetically. 

Published in Boston in 1833, the Cook’s Own Book, and Housekeeper’s Register is believed to be the first alphabetically-arranged culinary encyclopedia. The book was one of the most popular cookbooks of the 19th century and had at least a dozen different printings before 1865. 

It started the alphabetical listing with Aberdeen Crulla and Alamode Beef and ended with Yeast, Potato and Zests. Besides just the alphabetical section of the book, the Cook’s Own Book, and Housekeeper’s Register also contains articles about techniques of cooking, preparing soups and broths, curing meats, managing families, utensils, and diet, and a table of weights and measurements. The book was basically a compendium of recipes compiled from diverse British and American sources, and although many of the recipes and information are borrowed (a common practice of the time), author Mrs. N.K.M. Lee added many of her own original recipes to the collection making this culinary tome a true historical treasury. 


This edition of Cook’s Own Book, and Housekeeper’s Register was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the Society is a research library documenting the life of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The Society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection includes approximately 1,100 volumes. 

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