From Page to Air: Sharing Baylor Football since 1951

by Sylvia Hernandez, BULAA Project Archivist

Cover of the 1951 Baylor Football Data guide.

Cover of the 1951 Baylor Football Data guide.

As football season gets underway, we find ourselves in the stands of our favorite stadium watching the game, hoping the best for our team. But what about the times you can’t make it? Have you ever listened on the radio or watched the television broadcast? Where do they get those stories? How do they know those stats? How do you say that name?

Media guides have all the answers. Most of them.

While processing a large collection of Baylor Athletics materials, a “Baylor University Football Data” guide from 1951 was found, one of the earliest in the collection. It features several players on the cover, season schedule, coach and player bio’s, school record holders, and yes, even a key for “those hard-to-say names.” These guides were, and still are, made available by the Athletic Department to sports editors, radio/television announcers, and several others who may be covering the game in some capacity.

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Posted in Baylor athletics, Baylor football, Baylor University | Leave a comment

Texas over Time: Camp MacArthur

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph and postcard collections. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of GIFs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

• Named after Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, the camp was opened July 18th, 1917, to train men demobilized from service on the Mexican border at the end of World War I. It was in service for less than three years when it was abandoned on May 15, 1919.
• As well as a demobilization facility, Camp MacArthur served as an officer’s training school and an infantry replacement training camp.
• Located in northwest Waco, local businessmen helped to create a 10,700-acre complex from cotton fields and blackland farms.
• The estimated cost was five million dollars and included a base hospital, administration offices, tent housing for troops, and other military personnel buildings.
• The first commander was Major General James Parker who formed the 32nd U.S. Infantry Division later known as “Les Terribles” for their “successful, tenacious attacks” on enemy troops in Langres, France.
• The camp’s capacity could occupy over 45,000 troops but never exceeded 28,000 troops at a time.
• After the establishment of Camp MacArthur, the large influx of soldiers helped stimulate Waco’s economy until the Great Depression. The military presence also heavily influenced Waco’s Cotton Palace Exposition with an exhibit of a “bullet-ridden German biplane.”

Works Cited
• Kelley, Dayton. “Camp MacArthur.” The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas. Waco, TX: Texian, 1972. 47. Print.
• Amanda Sawyer, “Camp MacArthur,” Waco History, accessed July 6, 2016, http://wacohistory.org/items/show/48.
• Stanton, John. “Camp MacArthur.” FortWiki. MediaWiki, 7 Feb. 2015. Web. 07 July 2016.
• Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “Camp MacArthur,” accessed July 07, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qcc27.

See the still images in our Flickr set.

Posted in Camp MacArthur, Fred Gildersleeve, Historic Waco, military history, Photographs, Texas, Texas military hospitals, Waco, World War I | Leave a comment

Looking Back at Baylor: The Origin of the Green and Gold

This piece by former Texas Collection director Kent Keeth originally was published in The Baylor Line in June 1978, then was reprinted in Looking Back at Baylor (1985), a collection of Keeth and Harry Marsh’s historical columns for the Line. Blogging about Texas periodically features selections from Looking Back at Baylor, with hopes of sharing Keeth’s work with a new audience.

Baylor Yell Leaders help cheer the Bears to their 1974 SWC Championship

Baylor Yell Leaders help cheer the Bears to their 1974 SWC Championship, while sporting the Baylor green and gold proudly!

Across campus, across Texas, and even across the country, Baylor fans have sported green and gold for over a century. But did you know, it all started with a dandelion? Kent Keeth, with the help of Baylor alumnae Sara Rose Kendall Irvine, recount how Baylor’s colors came to be:

Generations of Baylorites have pledged their loyalty to the Green and Gold, and some have gone so far as to incorporate the colors into their private lives as a motif for their automobiles, their sportswear or their living rooms. Many have probably speculated idly, at one time or another, about their significance and the reason for their adoption as the university’s official colors.

In a letter written in 1959 to Professor Guy B. Harrison of The Texas Collection, Mrs. Sara Rose Kendall Irvine (’02) of Waco offered a first-hand account of their selection and of the inspiration for the choice. A portion of Mrs. Irvine’s letter, slightly edited, appears below.

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Posted in Baylor University, Baylor Yell Leaders, Looking Back at Baylor | Leave a comment

Research Ready: August 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

August’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Santa Fe Railroad Route Map, undated

Covered with handwritten notes (and safety messages), this employee timetable represents the more practical side of railroad operations in Texas. You’ll find this item in the Texas Railroads collection, Accession #2692, box 1, folder 4, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

 

August’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Fourteenth Annual Panhandle-Plains Dairy Show: Premium List. [Plainview, TX]: [publisher not identified], 1941. Print.
Fourteenth Annual Panhandle-Plains Dairy Show: Premium List. [Plainview, TX]: [publisher not identified], 1941. Print.

This program for the 1941 Panhandle-Plains Dairy Show contains all the information anyone showing cattle or attending the event might need, including exhibitor’s rules, judges’ rules, dairy products judging contest, officers and directors, etc. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

 

The Story of the S·M·S Ranch. [Stamford, TX?]: [Swenson Bros.?], [1919]. Print.The Story of the S·M·S Ranch. [Stamford, TX?]: [Swenson Bros.?], [1919]. Print. 

Filled with more than 120 photographs documenting cowboy life on the S. M. S. Ranches, this volume also provides info on breeding, show policy, cattle sales, etc. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

San Antonio, Tex. New York: Rotograph Co., [1905]. Print.

San Antonio, Tex. New York: Rotograph Co., [1905]. Print. This accordion-style fold-out postcard, which was mailed in 1907, contains photographs of several prominent places in San Antonio including City Hall, Alamo Plaza, San Pedro Park, and several missions. Click here to view in BearCat.

Posted in Alamo, American West, Archives, authors, Books, Dairy shows and exhibitions, Frontier and pioneer life, Old West, performing arts, postcards, Rail Road, Railroads, Research Ready, San Antonio, Screenplays, Texas historic buildings, Texas railroads, Texas ranches, Trains | Leave a comment

Research Ready: July 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

July’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

    • James Lee Barrett Screenplay collection, 1967 (#4001): Contains one screenplay entitled Bandolero!, written by James Lee Barrett in 1967. The resulting film starred James Stewart and Dean Martin, and centered around a bank robbery in Texas and subsequent chase into Mexican, “bandolero”-held territory.
Autographed title page of play book

Screenplay for the movie “Where the Heart Is,” a film from 2000 starting Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, and Joan Cusack. This screenplay, autographed by director Matt Williams and actress Natalie Portman, was given to Baylor University as a gesture of appreciation for letting portions of the movie be filmed on campus. You’ll find these items in the “Where the Heart Is” Screenplay collection, 1999 (#3384), box 1, folder 1, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

July’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Sullivan, John H., Jr. "Gun-play" by the World's Fastest Revolver Shot "Texas Jack.” [United States]: [publisher not identified], [between 1932 and 1937]. Print.Sullivan, John H., Jr. “Gun-play” by the World’s Fastest Revolver Shot “Texas Jack.” [United States]: [publisher not identified], [between 1932 and 1937]. Print.

“Texas Jack” Sullivan, who claimed to be the world’s fastest revolver shot, analyzes the skills of other accomplished gunmen such as “Broncho John” Sullivan, “Wild Bill” Hickok, and “Bat” Masterson. Sullivan also offers advice on handling weapons and what one should do if involved in a “stick-up.” Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

West-Texas: Das "Land der Gelegenheiten.” [Dallas, Texas?]: [publisher not identified], [1906?]. Print.

West-Texas: Das “Land der Gelegenheiten.” [Dallas, Texas?]: [publisher not identified], [1906?]. Print.

Written in Fraktur, this promotional booklet was produced by the Texas & Pacific Railway to entice Germans to West Texas. Like most promotionals, this one provides information on farming, climate, and opportunities.  Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Prohibition Songs. Waco, Texas: Published and for sale by B. H. Simpson, [between 1900 and 1935?]. Print.

Texas Prohibition Songs. Waco, Texas: Published and for sale by B. H. Simpson, [between 1900 and 1935?]. Print. 

This two-sided pamphlet contains songs such as “Prohibition Battle Hymn” and “Vote the Whiskey Out,” all with a clear warning about demon liquor. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

 

Posted in Adventure, Archives, Civil War, Confederate States of America, Cowboys, diaries, frontier and pioneer life, Frontier and pioneer life, German pioneers, letters, Mexico, Old West, Paul Baker, Prohibition, Rail Road, Railroads, Research Ready, Screenplays, Texas navy, Texas railroads | Leave a comment

Demise of the Cursed New Birmingham, Texas

by Anna Redhair, Graduate Student

Map of New Birmingham, Texas

Map of the proposed layout for the town of New Birmingham. The streets were named after major U.S. cities, Texas towns, and a few of the major investors in the project.

In the early 1880s, Alabama native and sewing machine salesman Alexander B. Blevins envisioned a town in East Texas that would rival the iron production of Birmingham in his home state. While traveling through the eastern part of Texas, he encountered significant iron ore deposits and identified a potential town site two miles east of Rusk, between Palestine and Nacogdoches. Blevins secured financial backing for “The Iron Queen of the Southwest” from his brother-in-law Gen. W. H. Hammon, a prominent Calvert lawyer, and several other wealthy investors from New York. The town, called New Birmingham, sold its first lot in 1888 and by 1891 it boasted around 2,000 residents, two working furnaces, a train depot, electric light station, carriage shop, ice manufacturer, pipe and bottling works, brick yard, and the largest hotel outside of Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and Galveston. Most of these buildings were built with brick, demonstrating the founders’ intention for the town’s permanence.

The Texas Collection recently discovered two pieces of promotional material associated with New Birmingham: a map of the proposed layout of the town along with existing homes and buildings as of August 1891 and a promotional booklet with details about the town’s benefits and business opportunities, which can be accessed here: here and here. Yet, by 1893, New Birmingham was deserted and the Cherokee County Banner, a local newspaper, declared that the “Iron Queen was dead.” All the town’s residents left except for a single caretaker and his wife who lived in the Southern Hotel, but even that structure burned to the ground in 1926. Most scholars point to a lack of initial capital for the venture compounded by the Panic of 1893, an explosion that ruined one of the furnaces, and the unfavorable Alien Land Act passed by Texas governor James Hogg as likely causes of the city’s quick demise. A legend survives, however, that tells a significantly different and more dramatic reason for the total destruction of New Birmingham, Texas.

The Southern Hotel

The most impressive structure in New Birmingham was the Southern Hotel. It housed such distinguished guests as Texas Governor James Hogg, railroad magnate Jay Gould, and former President Grover Cleveland.

According to the legend, Gen. W. H. Hammon and his wife Ella lived in the Southern Hotel. Ella had bright red hair and was considered the most beautiful woman in the town. In 1890, grocer S. T. Cooney and his wife, who was also very beautiful, moved to the town. Mrs. Hammon supposedly became incredibly jealous and she and her husband began spreading rumors around the town about Mrs. Cooney’s conduct. S. T. Cooney filed a slander suit against Gen. Hammon, but instead of waiting for the court to handle the conflict, he took matters into his own hands and shot Hammon to death in the middle of the street on July 14, 1890. Mrs. Hammon witnessed her husband’s death and called on the townspeople to lynch Cooney, but public sentiment about the incident was divided. After unsuccessfully attempting to convince the defense attorney to drop Cooney as a client, she ran through the streets of New Birmingham with her red hair flowing and cursed the town, calling on God to “leave no stick or stone standing in this mushroom town.”

Ruins of the Town

This photo shows a single brick wall from the high school, the only structure remaining from the town of New Birmingham. The rest of the site has been overgrown by the surrounding East Texas forest.

Although the dramatic details of the legend cannot be proven, the slander suit and murder were reported in several Texas newspapers. The Galveston Daily News closely followed the trial and Cooney was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in the state penitentiary on July 11, 1891. When the furnace exploded and the financial crisis hit New Birmingham in 1893, many townspeople recalled the curse of Mrs. Hammon and believed it to be a bad omen. Unlike other ghost towns in Texas, nothing remains to mark the place where this magnificent boomtown once stood. Most of the bricks from the businesses and homes were carted away during World War I or used to erect structures in the nearby town of Rusk. In a sense, Mrs. Hammon’s curse came true after all.

Bibliography

“Gen. Hammon Killed.” Dallas Morning News. July 15, 1890. America’s Historical Newspapers, Readex. accessed June 14, 2017.

Long, Christopher. “New Birmingham, Texas” A New Handbook of Texas. Vol. 4. Austin, TX: Texas State Historical Association, 1996.

“Made It Manslaughter.” The Galveston Daily. July 11, 1891. Newspapers.com accessed June 14, 2017.

“New Birmingham.” Cherokee County History. John Allen Templeton, ed.  Jacksonville, TX: Cherokee County Historical Commission, 1986.

New Birmingham Iron and Improvement Co. of Texas. New Birmingham, Cherokee County, Texas. Chicago: Rand, McNally, and Co., 1891.

New Birmingham, Texas. Chicago: Rand, McNally, and Co., 1891.

New Birmingham, Texas [Vertical File] The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Roach, Hattie Joplin. A History of Cherokee County. Dallas, TX: Southwest Press, 1934.

Posted in Cherokee County, Ghost Towns, Iron Rush, Maps, New Birmingham, W.H. Hammon | Leave a comment

Stories from Independence: Baylor Historical Society

By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

This post is part of a series that highlights Independence, Texas, the home of Baylor University from 1845 to 1886.

One of the many historic preservation groups that has assisted with preserving history in and around Independence through the years was the Baylor Historical Society. Formed to “stimulate interest in the history of Baylor University,” the society was founded in February 1941. Membership was open to anyone interested, and it cost only $1 to join the society. Members attended regular meetings on the Baylor campus, and usually heard a historical paper presentation at each meeting. Featured speakers included such state luminaries as Price Daniel (governor of Texas 1956-1962) and Pat Neff (governor of Texas 1921-1925, president of Baylor University 1932-1947). Longtime Baylor staff and faculty members P.D. Browne, Robert L. Reid, and Lily Russell served as society officers, and many descendants of early Baylor-associated families were members of the organization.

Independence-Columns008w

Celebrating the first restoration of the iconic columns at Independence. Pictured are (left to right): Dr. Gordon Singleton, President of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Judge Royston Crane, son of former Baylor president William Carey Crane,, Dr. W. R. White, President of Baylor University, Judge E. E. Townes, Vice President of the Baylor Board of Trustees (Board of Regents).

The society was very interested in preserving Texas, Baylor, and community history at Independence. Members raised money to stabilize the iconic Baylor columns, discussed a plan to reconstruct a dorm and operate it as an inn, and lobbied the Texas Legislature to turn part of Independence into a state park. Members also helped the Texas State Garden Club landscape around Independence.

It is not known exactly when the society disbanded. By 1964, the society only had 21 members at their annual meeting, and many of the people who had taken the lead in forming and running the organization had passed away. Longtime member P.D. Browne donated the society’s records to the Texas Collection in 1975.

 

 

Works Cited: BU Records:  Baylor Historical Society, Accession #BU/28, The Texas Collection, Baylor University, and BU Records:  Historical Research Office, Accession #BU/103, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

 

Posted in Baylor at Independence, Gordon Singleton, Independence, Independence columns, Lily McIlroy Russell, Royston Crane, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Washington County Texas | 2 Comments

Research Ready: June 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

June’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

  • Leon Jaworski papers, 1905-1983, undated (#2442): Includes materials that describe the professional and personal life of Leon Jaworski from 1905 to 1983. Jaworski is most widely regarded for his roles in Watergate, the war crime trials in Germany, and as Special Assistant Attorney General in USA v. Ross Barnett. These papers also reflect his legal and civic service, as well as his involvement with the Warren Commission and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Personal materials, speeches and addresses, and Jaworski’s literary productions are also found in these papers.
  • Tommy West papers, 1975-1998 (#3569): This collection contains some of the literary works of journalist Tommy West, as well as a few personal remarks describing West by journalist Ray Bell.

Manual belonging to Leon Jaworski, who was the first American to try war crimes in Europe under the Geneva Convention. Jaworski wrote annotations and notes, and taped changes to the book on the actual pages. Leon Jaworski papers, Accession #21442, Box 257, Folder 4, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

June’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

 The Dallas Automobile Country Club: with its Lands, Buildings, Tennis Court, Bowling Alleys, Shooting Trap: Billiard, Lounging and Dining Rooms, and Modern Equipment. [Dallas?]: [publisher not identified], [between 1910 and 1940?]. Print. 

This beautiful pamphlet states, “The Dallas Automobile Country Club is an association of gentlemen who own automobiles who desire a clean, high-class rendezvous where they may bring their families…”. Dining, dancing, bowling, and billiards are just some of the activities offered to club members. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

Pecos Land and Cattle Company. Charter and By-Laws of the Pecos Land and Cattle Company of Texas. Exeter, N.H.: printed by William B. Morrill, 1886. Print.

The Pecos Land and Cattle Company, organized in 1884, was made up of investors primarily from Massachusetts. This volume contains Articles of Incorporation and Code of By-Laws. Also included are the names and duties of the Board of Directors. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

1921 Lamar Fair and Exposition: Paris, Texas, Oct. 10-11-12-13-14-15. [Paris, TX?]: [publisher not identified], [1921]. Print.

Published in 1921 as Lamar County was celebrating the centennial of its settlement, this expansive volume highlights the many events that make up the fair and exposition, including horse racing, swine show, merchant exposition, agriculture and horticultural product exhibits, entertainment, and centennial pageants. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

 

Posted in American West, Books, country club, Dallas, Lamar County, Leon Jaworski, Research Ready, Texas ranches, West | Leave a comment

Cataloger’s Corner: Ptolemy and the Problem of Taprobana

by Allie McCormack, Rare Books Catalog Librarian for Baylor Libraries

For this installment of Cataloger’s Corner, I’d like to share with you one of the oldest books held at The Texas Collection: a 1562 printing of Ptolemy’s Geographia. Not only is the book itself quite old, but it was acquired very early in the history of The Texas Collection through a unique program called the McGregor Plan for the Encouragement of Book Collecting by American College Libraries that operated during the 1930s.

Instructional page from the 1562 printing of Ptolemy’s Geographia.The Geographia, sometimes called the Cosmographia, is special for many reasons. A revision of a now-lost atlas by Marinus of Tyre, it was compiled around 150 CE by Claudius Ptolemy using new principles and additional Roman and Persian sources. It was translated into Arabic in the 9th century and Latin in 1406, going through many editions in each language.

A large portion of Ptolemy’s work was dedicated to cartographic principles. Specifically, he improved the treatment of map projections—the system that lets cartographers map a round object like the globe onto a flat plane like a map—and gave readers instructions on how to recreate his maps. He also provided latitude and longitude coordinates for all the places and geographical features in the book.

Ptolemy’s original map showing the island of Taprobana from the 1562 printing of Geographia.Of course, the ancient Romans were only aware of about a quarter of the globe; Ptolemy’s European maps didn’t include Scandinavia, for example, let alone North or South America. Later editions added additional maps to represent new knowledge. During the Age of Exploration, when Europeans launched extensive overseas exploration parties, new editions included as many as 64 regional maps. Old maps also had to be altered to reflect these discoveries.

Revised version of Ptolemy’s world map showing the island of Taprobana from the 1562 printing of Geographia.What I want to focus on here is one of the more curious geographical features mapped in the Geographia: the island of Taprobana. Don’t worry if that name doesn’t sound familiar: this place was known to the Greeks before the time of Alexander the Great, but modern scholars have no idea to what land it corresponds. On the map above, based on Ptolemy’s original world map, it is situated south of India and might represent Sri Lanka. However, on the map to the left, which is based on geographical knowledge of the 1560s, Sri Lanka is clearly marked with a Z (Zeelan, a strange Latinization of the Portuguese Ceilão, from whence the English term Ceylon). Instead, the position of Taprobana might correlate with the island of Sumatra.

Map showing Camatra from the 1562 printing of Ptolemy’s Geographia.But wait! A map of the area between the Adaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand has Sumatra marked as Camatra. Below it is the island of Java (marked Iava, as Latin orthography often did not include the letter J). If Taprobana isn’t Sri Lanka or Sumatra, what is it?

Some scholars think Taprobana is a phantom island, a geographical feature that shows up on maps for many years until subsequent explorations of the area fail to find the land mass. Others think the ancient Greeks and Romans simply miscalculated the location of Sri Lanka on their maps. They use linguistic evidence to bolster their argument: according to the Mahavamsa, a 5th century CE document written in the Pali language that chronicles the history of the kings of Sri Lanka, the legendary Prince Vijaya named the land Tambapanni (“copper-red hands” or “copper-red earth”) because his followers’ hands were reddened by the soil on the island.

Map showing the island of Taprobana from the 1562 printing of Ptolemy’s Geographia.Perhaps later cartographers kept both Sri Lanka and Taprobana on their maps because they respected Ptolemy’s authority. Indeed, until the scientific revolution, previous scholarship was so revered that new discoveries which repudiated established fact were viewed with suspicion, or shoehorned into existing systems of thought even when there were obvious contradictions. Or, maybe the cartographers simply couldn’t rule out the existence of Taprobana and included it in their maps in case it was one day discovered. It remains a mystery.

Baylor University holds other works by Ptolemy, which you can see here. If you’re interested in other early geographical works, click here. If you’d specifically like to see early atlases, follow this link.

Posted in Allie McCormack, Cataloger’s Corner, Maps, Ptolemy, rare books, Taprobana | Leave a comment

Wedding Etiquette in the 1950s

by Anna Redhair, Graduate Student

As the calendar turns to June, we enter into the height of wedding season. The families of the soon to be bride and groom engage in a flurry of activity to ensure all the preparations are ready for the big day. Some of the cookbooks housed at The Texas Collection include recipes and menus specifically designed with weddings in mind. One of the most detailed descriptions of these preparations comes from a quirky cookbook published in the 1950s by the Charles W. Cook Auxiliary at Christ Episcopal Church in Laredo, Texas called Warm Welcome.

The cover page of Warm Welcome

The section entitled “Wedding Meals and Receptions” covered the expectations and etiquette for weddings, which provides an interesting glimpse into the norms for wedding receptions in the 1950s in Texas. The cookbook stressed the importance of the tasteful arrangement of delicious food and drink as the key to a successful wedding reception. Detailed rules existed regarding the order of the receiving line for a formal wedding: first the bride’s mother, then the groom’s mother, the bride, the groom, the maid of honor, and then the bridesmaids. Interestingly, the bride’s father did not stand in the receiving line but “greeted special guests and escorted old friends to the refreshment table.”

The rest of the section preceding the recipes explained the traditional food and beverages served at wedding receptions. No matter what time of day the reception was held, champagne remained the standard beverage served. Etiquette did allow for a fruit juice or gingerale punch as suitable substitutes, though. Every reception also featured a bride’s cake covered in beautiful white icing which could be topped with the same flowers used in the bridal bouquet.

A recipe for the traditional wedding cake, a dark fruit cake.

For weddings with larger budgets, the cookbook described another traditional element of the reception. Each guest received a piece of dark fruit cake in a small white box wrapped in a white satin ribbon. This cake was the designated wedding cake, as opposed to the white bride’s cake that we think of today. The mother of the bride saved a piece of the fruit cake for the bride and groom to eat on their first anniversary. Protocol allowed for the two cakes (bride’s cake and wedding cake) to be combined into a single cake with white cake making up the first two tiers and a layer of dark fruit cake at the top.

Sample menus for receptions at various times of day and levels of formality.

After the explanation of some of the etiquette and traditions surrounding wedding receptions, the cookbook provided specific menus for the various times of day a wedding reception might be held. With menus for early morning breakfast, stand-up breakfast, sit-down breakfast, buffet breakfast, breakfast served at high noon, luncheon, or supper, any bride and her family could plan the perfect reception. As you can see, cookbooks provided much more than simply recipes to the women who owned them, and helped them plan some of the most important events in the lives of their families.

Bibliography:

Charles W. Cook Auxiliary Christ Episcopal Church. Warm Welcome. Laredo, TX: 1950s?

Posted in Cookbooks, Laredo, Menus, Weddings | Leave a comment