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Old Recipe Card Box

Several years ago I had the opportunity to purchase an old wooden box at a local antique store. Upon opening the box I discovered about 1000 index cards, some handwritten but most were hand-clipped from old newspapers and magazines dating from about 1910 on. I scanned the recipes cards and included them on this site. Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell where most of them came from. The exception is the occasional recipe card that features a product such as “French’s” or “Jello-O”.

Whose recipe box was this? There was a card from a Georgia W. Russell expressing her love for her husband, N.J. Russell. It was written January 4, 1930 and notes were added up until July 18, 1934. I think it’s a good bet that this recipe card box was hers. I found the box in Hastings, Minnesota, but I am noticing that there are a lot of newspaper clippings that came from a Stillwater, Minnesota, newspaper. I am an avid genealogist but I am having a problem tracking down Georgia. She is no doubt deceased, but it would be fun to track down a family member to learn more about her. She was certainly a prolific recipe collector!

While you or I might organize into larger categories such as “Breads” and “Desserts”, the owner of this box organized down to the level of “Puddings” and “Timbals.” I suspect this was because they used some of these categories more than we do now. I’ve decided not to preserve that organizational pattern in this website. It gets complicated!

I thought it would be great fun to share the recipes with others who might enjoy both the recipes and the history of cooking. Please contact me if you try any of these recipes as I’d love to hear what your results were. Old recipes were written somewhat differently. The ingredients were different sometimes and as far as directions or lack thereof–they assume you know what they mean.

Note that there are other categories of interest to choose from. Some I have augmented with my own research to help you navigate through the differences in ingredients, etc.


These recipe cards are scanned into Adobe Acrobat files. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, please go to their site and download the free software.

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by rootie