Vintage Cookbooks

I know that the internet has taken over much of the way we get our recipes now, but nothing beats a great cookbook.  Especially a vintage cookbook.  Why are vintage cookbooks so extraordinary?  They have been used, and loved, and show so much of our history.  Sometimes, if you are lucky, you will find notes written in the margins of how a recipe was modified, making  the book even more valuable.

Now if you are like me, you keep hold of these little gems and use them.  I absolutely love cooking from vintage cookbooks.  But there are some who sell these books, and rightly so.  Many of them are worth the effort of trying to sell.

The first type of book I would like to discuss is the handwritten cookbook.

This particular one was written by my grandmother for my mother.  It is an accumulation of handwritten and magazine recipes dating from the 1950’s-1960’s.  This book will never be sold, and holds great sentimental value.  However, many like it are being sold on eBay right now for $10-$20, and many of those are just the starting bids.  Why are these so valuable?  Because they took time to be written, and most of the recipes have been cooked and show what can be changed to make them better.  They are historical, and show how cooking was done, and what was becoming popular at the time.  For instance, many of the recipes were starting to use canned ingredients from stores during the 1950’s and 60’s.  More convenience foods.  So, it show an evolution of cooking.  Very fun to own and just show people, but also cook from. A little history lesson in a book.


This is a Frigidaire Recipes Cookbook from 1929.  I love this little gem because it has the neatest color illustrations and very thorough hints and explanations for the cook.  Besides, what is better than learning about refrigerators in the 1920’s?  Definitely historical.  These beauties are starting at $9 on eBay.


We also have promotional cookbooks that are very popular.  These range in prices of $5-$30 depending on the book.  These were cookbooks that used the specific brand of product such as Calumet, Aunt Jemima etc.  Collectible and desirable to the cookbook enthusiast.

Finally, I do not have a picture of them, but vintage church cookbooks are a collector item as well.  Especially from a specific town or church for those writing church history or town histories.  These are going for $10-$20 on eBay as well.

So if you are looking for a little extra cash, look to see what is on your cookbook shelves.  There could be some extra income waiting for you.



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