Cookbooks

SHREDDED WHEAT COOKBOOKS AND OTHER BOOKLETS CONTAINING RECIPES

There are many different cookbooks put out by the Shredded Wheat Company and its precursors.  Some are true cookbooks, devoted to recipes as their main raison-d’être; others are booklets and pamphlets either about Mr. Perky’s theories of food, the company, or sometimes about Niagara Falls itself.  Many of these contain recipes, but that was not the main purpose of the text.  We refer to those here in the following list as BOOKLETS, PAMPHLETS, and FOLDERS, as opposed to others that we reference as COOKBOOKS.  All are included here because all include recipes.

 

There are other places to find Shredded Wheat recipes, notably amongst the Shredded Wheat cereal box insert listings.  There were several different sets of RECIPE CARDS issued across the years, which offer updated versions of the recipes in the earliest cookbooks.

 

Recipe books began very early with the Shredded Wheat Company, due to Mr. Perky’s belief that so much depended on whole grain fiber in the diet.  The New Era Cooking School, founded by Henry Perky in Worcester, Mass. in 1893, was equipped with laboratories for testing recipes, and was devoted to teaching young women domestic science, with the purpose of educating the public to the value and uses of Shredded Wheat.  It was originally housed in offices downtown, but eventually found a home at the Oread Institute, a former coeducational college housed in a castle-like structure overlooking the town of Worcester.  Perky and his family lived on these premises as well.  When Perky moved the business to Niagara Falls in 1901, he had plans of again establishing another school of domestic science, but these were never realized.

 

These recipes reflect the various needs of the times they were created in – filling the needs of the household at the beginning of the 20th century, of meatless meals in wartime, and of ease of preparation in today’s busy schedules.

 

*Serial and Series numbers are designations used by The Shredded Wheat Company in Worcester, MA, then by the Natural Food Company and the Shredded Wheat Company in Niagara Falls, NY, and were used on many different company promotional materials. Post cards, blotters, advertising pamphlets, trolley ads – many had a designated Series number, as did many of the cookbooks and booklets listed here.  Renumbering began again with the purchase of The Shredded Wheat Company by National Biscuit in late 1928. These are indicated in the headings, and are useful for identifying items.

This list does not contain the many editions of the little booklet “More Light” which also contained a handful of recipes, and advertisements for The Vital Question.

 

 

1897 Vital Question COOKBOOK      Serial No. P [on page 1 of the text]

Title: The Vital Question by H.D. Perky

The New Era Cooking School

Copyright 1897,  H.D. Perky,  Worcester, Mass. 94pp.

3¼”x5” tan cover, red print, no edition number on front but this appears to be the 2nd Edition (1897 copyright inside – and in the index, there is a list of recipes new to the 2nd edition, which are included.)  The only illustration is a sepia picture of a Shredded Wheat biscuit opposite p.33

contains 145 recipes, but also has extensive information on food theory, and the New Era Cooking School.

 

1897 Vital Question COOKBOOK      Serial No. P [on page 1 of the text]

Title: The Vital Question by H.D. Perky

The New Era Cooking School

Copyright 1897,  H.D. Perky,  Worcester, Mass. 94pp.

3¼”x5” tan cover, red print, 2nd edition number on front; (1897 copyright inside – and in the index, there is a list of recipes new to the 2nd edition.)  The only illustration is a sepia picture of a Shredded Wheat biscuit opposite p.33

contains 145 recipes, but also has extensive information on food theory, and the New Era Cooking School. Printer: Providence Albertype Co, Providence, R.I.

 

1897 Vital Question COOKBOOK      Serial No. P [on page 1 of the text]

Title: The Vital Question by H.D. Perky Founder of the New Era Cooking School

Copyright 1897,  H.D. Perky,  Worcester, Mass

34pp. Printer: Providence Albertype Co, Phillipsdale, R.I.

8”x10” tan cover, red print, 3rdth edition of 100,000 each) [1897 copyright inside]

contains 154 recipes, but also has extensive information on food theory, and the New Era Cooking School.

 

1897 Vital Question COOKBOOK      Serial No. P [on page 1 of the text]

Title: The Vital Question and Our Navy, 1898 by H.D. Perky Founder of the New Era Cooking School

Copyright 1897,  H.D. Perky,  Worcester, Mass

65 pp. Printer: Providence Albertype Co, Phillipsdale, R.I.

8”x10” gray cover, red print, 4th edition of 100,000 each) [1898 on cover, 1897 copyright inside]

contains all 254 recipes, but also has extensive information on food theory, the New Era Cooking School, and the Navy (a separate section at the back)

 

1898 Summer Suggestions COOKBOOK

Title: Summer Suggestions, The New Era Cooking School, Worcester, Mass

recipes and advice on summer feeding

mentioned in ad in The Youths Companion, Jun 30, 1898 [I do not have this]

 

1899 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title: The Vital Question,   The Cereal Machine Co., Worcester, Mass.

5th edition of 100,000,  dark green cover with red print and tie, 4″ x 4″ 148 pps.;

No Printer listed, inside covers white.

Some food theory discussion in front, followed by 262 recipes

 

1899 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title: The Vital Question,   The Cereal Machine Co., Worcester, Mass.

6th edition of 100,000, light green cover with red print and tie, 4″ x 4″ 148 pps.;

No Printer listed, inside covers green

Some food theory discussion in front, followed by 262 recipes

 

1899 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title: The Vital Question,   The Cereal Machine Co., Worcester, Mass.

7th edition of 100,000, light green or a dark green cover with red print and tie, 4″ x 4″ 148 pps.; Printer: Providence Albertype Co, Phillipsburg, RI.

Some food theory discussion in front, followed by 262 recipes

 

1899 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title: The Vital Question,   The Cereal Machine Co., Worcester, Mass.

8th edition of 100,000, light green or a dark green cover with red print and tie, 4″ x 4″ 148 pps.; Printer: Providence Albertype Co, Phillipsburg, RI.

Some food theory discussion in front, followed by 262 recipes

 

1899 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title: The Vital Question,   The Cereal Machine Co., Worcester, Mass. with red stamp on inside front cover stating The Natural Food Company, Niagara Falls, NY, successor to The Shredded Wheat Company

11th edition of 100,000, red cover with gold print & tie, 4″ x 4″ 148 pps.; Printer: Platt  Albertype Co, Providence, RI

Some food theory discussion in front, followed by 262 recipes

 

1901 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title:  The Vital Question, The Natural Food Co, Niagara Falls, NY

13th edition of 250,000, dark green cover with red print & leaf border, or a tan cover with dark blue print & leaf border, or a blue cover with black print & leaf border  148 numbered pages. 4″ x 4″approx.

Some food theory, followed by 262 recipes

 

1901 Vital Question COOKBOOK     Series 2

Title:  The Vital Question, The Natural Food Co, Niagara Falls, NY

15th edition of 250,000, brown owl cover w/Roycrofters look about it, 4″ x 7″ approx., 40 deckle-edged pps. Series number not on book. [possible relationship between E. Hubbard & Perky?]; Printer: Chasmar-Winchell/NY&Pitts., 6 & 8 Eastcheap, London, E.C., Eng on title page

Food theory, selected recipes

 

1902 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title:  The Vital Question Cool Book, The Natural Food Company, Niagara Falls, NY

16th edition of 250,000, approx. 4”x4”, tan cover and ties, or with red cover & ties, or blue cover with light blue ties, with bundles wheat and title printed in black, 112 pp.; Printer: Baker, Jones & Co./Buffalo, NY

Some food theory, followed by 261 recipes

 

1902 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title:  The Vital Question Cool Book, The Natural Food Company, Niagara Falls, NY

17th edition of 250,000, approx. 4”x4”, blue-gray cover, red tie, or red cover with tan tie, with bundles wheat and title printed in black, 112 pp.; Printer: Gazette Press/Niagara Falls, NY

Some food theory, followed by 261 recipes

 

1904 Vital Question COOKBOOK      Series 1

Title:  The Vital Question Cook Book, The Natural Food Co.,  Niagara Falls, NY

Title page:  The Vital Question and the Answer, Enforced by a Comprehensive Cook Book, Treating of “All Course Dishes” Made with shredded Whole Wheat Products

18th edition of 250,000, 3”x5½”, brown cover, pot & steam in black & orange, 2 different title pages – one says “Eighteenth Edition” below line, other days 18th Edition” above line,NF on back, 72 pp.

Food theory, followed by 152 recipes

 

1905 Shreds of Life BOOKLET

Title: Shreds of Life, The Natural Food Co. Niagara Falls, NY

cover: deep ochre circular emblem of Indian grinding wheat, letters white; 32 pp., n.d., yellow bordered pp., back cover:  2 circles with SW & Triscuit; Printer: Matthews-Northrup/Buffalo [4/14/05]

A few recipes on last page, otherwise info on SW & factory

 

1905 Shreds of Life BOOKLET      Series 99

Title: Shreds of Life, The Natural Food Co, Niagara Falls, NY

Pale green cover, lettering blue, redrawn picture of Indian emblem, back: single center circle with text, bowl of SW w/milk above and Triscuit below ;; Printer (text): Matthews Northrup/Buffalo (cover) Niagara Litho [11/24/05; see also 4/14/05, no series no.]

A few recipes on last page, otherwise info on SW & factory

 

1906? Vital Question COOKBOOK      Series 1

Title: The Vital Question, Natural Food and Its Relation to Health, Happiness, and Long Life,  The Natural Food Conservatory,  Niagara Falls, NY

Title page: The Vital Question and the Answer, with a Comprehensive Treatise on the Principles of Cookery,  [handwritten date inside 1908, last testimonial Jan 1906]

Gray cover, pot & wheat stalks in black & orange, 64 pp., “It’s All in the Shreds” on back cover

Food theory, followed by 100 recipes

 

1907 Good Morning! COOKBOOK                                                                                                                                                              – Series 140

Title:  Good Morning!, The Natural Food Co, Niagara Falls, NY

Title page: Good Morning!

Colorful cover, girl in pajamas with steaming bowl of Shredded Wheat, approx. 3½” x 5½”, 13 pps

Food theory, followed by a few selected recipes, more pamphlet than cookbook

 

1908 More Life COOKBOOK                                                                                                                                                              – Series 150

Title:  More Life, The Natural Food Co, Niagara Falls, NY

Title page: More Life

Colorful cover, girl behind curtain with cap with steaming bowl of Shredded Wheat, approx. 3½” x 5½”, 13 pps,

Food theory, followed by a few selected recipes, more pamphlet than cookbook

 

1908 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title:  The Vital Question Cook Book, The Natural Food Co, Niagara Falls, NY

Title page: The “Vital Question” Being a Discussion of the Food Problem and its Relation to Health and Happiness

Colorful cover, woman pouring milk into cereal bowl, approx. 6″ x 8″, 64 pps,

Printed by: The Matthews-Northrup Works, Buffalo, Cleveland and New York

Food theory, followed by many selected recipes, a few pages in German and a few in French

 

1908 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title:  The Vital Question Cook Book, The Natural Food Co, Niagara Falls, NY

Title page: The “Vital Question” Being a Discussion of the Food Problem and its Relation to Health and Happiness

Red leather covers, probably rebound version of above, approx. 6″ x 8″, 64 pps,

Printed by: The Matthews-Northrup Works, Buffalo, Cleveland and New York

Food theory, followed by many selected recipes, a few pages in German and a few in French

 

1909 Vital Question COOKBOOK

Title:  The Vital Question Cook-Book, From the Wheatfield to the Table , The Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, NY & The Canadian Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, Ont

Title page: The “Vital Question” Being a Discussion of the Food Problem and its Relation to Health and Happiness with a description of the finest, cleanest, most hygienic food factory in the world

Cover green & sepia, 84 pps. 5″ x 7″ approx./ many selected unnumbered recipes, “Shredded Wheat Cookery” on back

Food theory, followed by many selected recipes, a few pages in German and a few in French

 

1910 Life and Health COOKBOOK     Series 223?

Title: Life and Health for Old and Young, The Shredded Wheat Company, Niagara Falls, NY

16pp booklet, two young girls on front, “It’s All in the Shreds” on back

Food theory and a few pages of recipes, more pamphlet than cookbook

 

1910 Shredded Wheat Dishes COOKBOOK

Title:  Shredded Wheat Dishes, From the Wheatfield to the Table , The Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, NY & The Canadian Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, Ont

Title page: Shredded Wheat Dishes, Some practical and economical recipes for making Shredded Wheat Dishes in combination with Fresh or Preserved Fruits, Creamed Mats or Vegetables, Together with a Treatise on The Food Problem and its Relation to Health and Happiness with a description of the finest, cleanest, most hygienic food factory in the world

Cover green & sepia, 84 pps. 5″ x 7″ approx./ many selected unnumbered recipes, “The Vital Question” on back [as Vital Question 1909 edition of same size, cover green & sepia]

Food theory, followed by many selected recipes, a few pages in German and a few in French

 

1911 Shredded Wheat Dishes COOKBOOK      

Title:  Shredded Wheat Dishes, From the Wheatfield to the Table , The Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, NY & The Canadian Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, Ont

Title page: Shredded Wheat Dishes, Some practical and economical recipes for making Shredded Wheat Dishes in combination with Fresh or Preserved Fruits, Creamed Mats or Vegetables, Together with a Treatise on The Food Problem and its Relation to Health and Happiness with a description of the finest, cleanest, most hygienic food factory in the world

Cover dark blue & sepia, 84 pps. 5″ x 7″ approx./ many selected unnumbered recipes, “The Vital Question” on back, As Shredded Wheat Dishes, 1910 edition of same size, cover green & sepia

Food theory, followed by many selected recipes, a few pages in German and a few in French

 

Shredded wheat COOKBOOK

Title:  Shredded Wheat Dishes, From Harvest Fields to Breakfast Table, The Shredded Wheat Co., Ltd., England

Cover green & sepia, 84 pps. 5″ x 7″ approx./ many selected unnumbered recipes

 

1913  Wonders of Niagara BOOKLET     Series 265

Title:  Wonders of Niagara” “The Home of Shredded Wheat” Niagara Falls, NY

Front cover letters outlined in white only; back: 2 horse-drawn buggies, c. 50 unnumbered pages

Printed at: “The Home of Shredded Wheat”

Mostly information on Niagara Falls & Home of SW; a few recipes in back

 

1914  Wonders of Niagara BOOKLET     Series 265

Title:  Wonders of Niagara” “The Home of Shredded Wheat” Niagara Falls, NY

Front cover letters outlined  in red & white/back redrawn, 1 small horse-drawn carriage

Printer: Niagara Litho/Clement Press Printed at: “The Home of Shredded Wheat”

Mostly information on Niagara Falls & Home of SW; a few recipes in back

 

1917 “Happy Way to Health” BOOKLET     Series 308

Title: Happy Way to Health, The Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, NY

Title page:  The Happy Way to Health, A Little Book on how to Live in Harmony w/Natural Law

90 pp booklet w/o numbers; Printer:  cover – Niagara Litho/Buffalo; interior – Clement Press/Buffalo

Mostly food theory, with three pages of recipes at back

 

1918 Building Better Babies – Booklet –                                          Series 289

Title: Building Better Babies The Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, NY

Copyright 1918, and included a letter on letterhead from 1911 (Series 141);cover printed in brown and blue, with border of 12 babies, tan pages with brown line border, and back cover has only Series no. and Clement Press, Buffalo

12 unnumbered pages

Food theory, testimonials, and only two recipes for babies

 

1918 Building Better Babies – Booklet –                                          Series 332

Title: Building Better Babies The Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, NY

Copyright 1918, and included a letter on letterhead from 1923 (Series 397);cover printed in brown and blue, with border of 4 babies, tan pages with brown line border, and back cover has only Series no. and Clement Press, Buffalo

12 unnumbered pages

Food theory, testimonials, and only two recipes for babies

 

1918 Building Better Babies – Booklet –                                          Series 483

Title: Building Better Babies The Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, NY

Copyright 1918, but the series number probably indicates that this is a reprint in the 20’s [there is mention on last page of coloring contest of box inserts, which ended in 1929; front cover printed in blue, with border of 4 babies, white pages with blue line border, and back cover has a picture of the box, with “This is the Package/The Shredded Wheat you have always bought.”

12 unnumbered pages

Food theory, testimonials, and only two recipes for babies

 

1919? 8 page BOOKLET     Series 328

Title: The Happy Way to Health and Strength The Shredded Wheat Co, Niagara Falls, NY

one subhead: Some Things We Learned from the War”, woman with tray on front

Food theory, some recipes in back

 

Health from the Whole Wheat – 50 Ways of Serving SW BOOKLET     Series 386

Health from the Whole Wheat – Fifty Ways of Serving Shredded Wheat, The Home of Shredded Wheat, Niagara Falls, NY

illustrated front & back cover, many unnumbered pages n.d.

Food theory, The Home of Shredded Wheat, and many Shredded Wheat and Triscuit recipes

 

1924 50 Ways COOKBOOK

50 Ways of Serving Shredded Wheat The Shredded Wheat Co., Niagara Falls, NY

Cover – pitcher & bowl on front; “For Any Meal” on back – “12 ounces real food, most for the money,” similar to Series 419 – tho’ text different, 22 pps.; Printer (text): JW Clement Co., Buffalo

Food theory, and many Shredded Wheat and Triscuit recipes

 

1924 50 Ways COOKBOOK     Series 396

50 Ways of Serving Shredded Wheat The Shredded Wheat Co., Niagara Falls, NY

Cover – pitcher & bowl on front; “For Any Meal” on back – “12 ounces real food, most for the money,” similar to Series 419 – tho’ text different, 22 pps.; No mention of printer

Food theory, and many Shredded Wheat and Triscuit recipes

 

1924 Fifty Ways COOKBOOK     Series 419

Title: Fifty Ways/of Serving/Shredded Wheat/Including the Dishes that/won the Gold Prizes, The Shredded Wheat Co., Niagara Falls, NY (also mentions Pacific Coast SW Co, Canadian SW Co, &  SW Co., Ltd, England)

Cover – small girl pouring milk on cereal “It’s All in the Shreds” and  Printed in U.S.A. on back, 20 pps

Fewer pages of food theory, and many Shredded Wheat and Triscuit recipes

 

14 pp. BOOKLET     Series 457

Title: Health in Every Shred, The Shredded Wheat Co., Niagara Falls, NY (mentions five plants, 2 in NF, NY, & Pacific Coast SW Co, Canadian SW Co, & SW Co Ltd, Welwyn Garden City, Eng.)

Cover  – mother & 2 children on front, recipes tested by Miss Farmer’s School of Cookery, Boston, Mass. , 2 bowls of cereal and Litho In U.S.A. on back

Food theory, recipes scattered throughout

 

1928  14 page BOOKLET     Series 471

Title: For All Ages – Shredded Wheat, The Shredded Wheat Co. Niagara Falls, NY (mentions five factories.)

Cover pictures 4 vignettes of girl & women + box, with and without date inside front cover, Litho in U.S.A. on back, 14 pp.

Food theory, very few recipes

 

1928? COOKBOOK

Title: Health & Happiness in the Home – Shredded Wheat, Canadian shredded Wheat Company, Niagara Falls, Canada

Cover with mother and two children on front, box with no colophon , and the Canadian Shredded Wheat Company – 4-page pamphlet,

Almost entirely recipes

 

1930? COOKBOOK

Title: Health & Happiness in the Home – Shredded Wheat, National Biscuit Co., “Uneeda Bakers”

Cover with mother and two children on front, box with no colophon ,4-page pamphlet,

Almost entirely recipes

 

1933 COOKBOOK      Series No. 6

Title: Recipes for new and delicious Energy Dishes,  The National Biscuit Co., NY, NY “Uneeda Bakers”

Cover –  blond girl w/spoon & bowl on front, on back: box with colophon on lower center of side panel, and text reads: Buy Energy by the Package,”  17pp

Almost all recipes, some minor text at beginning

 

1933 COOKBOOK      Series No. 6

Title: Recipes for new and delicious Energy Dishes,  The National Biscuit Co., NY, NY “Uneeda Bakers”

Cover –  blond girl w/spoon & bowl on front, on back: box with colophon mid-center on side panel, and text reads: The Vitally Different Food,”  17pp

Almost all recipes, some minor text at beginning

 

1935 COOKBOOK     Series No. 29

Title: Delicious Shredded Wheat Recipes, A New Parade of Menu Hints, The National Biscuit Shredded Wheat Co. Niagara Falls, NY

Cover: Niagara Falls & factory on front, The National Breakfast and box w/colophon on middle of side panel on back, 17 pp;

History of Shredded Wheat and many recipes

 

1937 COOKBOOK

Title: A Book of Distinctive Recipes and an amazing story,  National Biscuit Co.

Cover:  three women in silhouette, blue, brown & green, back the same, 24 pps.

Some Niagara Falls info, some Shredded Wheat history, and maybe 24 recipes

 

1940 COOKBOOK     Series No. 61

Title: The Whole Wheat Way to Better Meals,  National Biscuit Co.

Cover:  bowl with Shredded Wheat, on back “National Biscuit Shredded Wheat, the Original Niagara Falls Product” and box with colophon at top center of side panel

Some shredded Wheat history, and many recipes

 

1940’s WARTIME COOKBOOK

Title:  Nabisco SW Eat-well-in Wartime!, National Biscuit Company

Fold-up pamphlet with red cover (woman & meatloaf), box on back cover now Nabisco Shredded Wheat, with colophon in upper right corner of side panel

Many recipes on cardfile size pages, to be cut apart and filed in recipe box

 

1947? COOKBOOK

Title:  Delicious Nourishing Dishes,  National Biscuit Company

Cover: green, for breakfast, for luncheon, for dinner, on back, box with colophon upper right side panel and simulated stamp with NAtional BIScuit Company, 24 pp.

All recipes

 

1947? COOKBOOK

Title:  Delicious Nourishing Dishes,  Canadian Shredded Wheat Co.  Makers of Nabisco Shredded Wheat

Cover: green, for breakfast, for luncheon, for dinner, on back, box with Canadian Shredded Wheat Company, Ltd. At bottom, 24 pp.

All recipes

 

1982 Spoon Size Shredded Wheat COOKBOOK

Title:  All Day, Any Day Nabisco Brands Food and Nutrition Center, East Hanover, NJ 07936

Cover : Salad bowl, “Recipes with SPOON SIZE Shredded Wheat, 20 pp.

All recipes

1990 Shredded Wheat COOKBOOK

Title:  Shredded Wheat Free! Recipe Book Nabisco Foods Company

Cover with salad and cereal, triangular colophon upper left corner, back is a coupon, 22 pp.

All recipes

 

1993  Triscuit COOKBOOK          

Title:  Smart Snacking Triscuit Style

Nabisco Foods Group, Parsippany, NJ

32 page cookbook of Triscuit recipes

 

 

Additions are always welcome.  Please email me at jwalton971@aol.com.

 

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