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© 1983 President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: MC 348
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Alice Bradley, 1875-1946
Title: Papers of Alice Bradley, 1893-1980
Quantity: .21 linear feet (1/2 file box) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Brochures, clippings, biographies, etc., of Alice Bradley, home economist, hospital dietitian, principal of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery.
Alice Bradley was born on June 28, 1875, in Bradford, Massachusetts. She began her lifelong culinary career by giving cooking demonstrations with Janet McKenzie Hill, who in 1896 became editor of American Cookery, the magazine of the Boston Cooking School. Bradley went on to attend the Boston Cooking School, where Fannie Merritt Farmer was director; she and other students tested recipes for Farmer's new book, The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, which became famous for its novel use of precise, level measurements of ingredients.In 1897 Bradley was graduated from the Boston Cooking School; she then taught in Montreal and Ottawa for 3 years. She returned to Boston to take the position of resident dietitian at Massachusetts Homeopathic Hospital (now the Boston University Medical Center); she was the first hospital dietitian in Boston and only the third nationwide. In 1902 Fannie Merritt Farmer opened Miss Farmer's School of Cookery. She invited Bradley to teach there because the school had to offer courses in dietetics for nurses to gain acceptance. The school used two teaching methods: the demonstration lecture, and laboratory work done in small groups in kitchen/classrooms. Bradley taught at the school for nine years, and then taught at the New York School of Cookery for two. When Fannie Merritt Farmer died in 1915, Bradley bought Miss Farmer's School of Cookery from Cora Dexter Perkins, Fannie Merritt Farmer's sister, and became its principal. The curriculum included proper methods of serving food in formal settings, which was practical training for those who wanted to open tearooms or restaurants.Bradley attained national recognition as a home economist largely through the work she did outside Miss Farmer's School of Cookery. In 1916 she became cooking editor for The Woman's Home Companion, a post she held for twenty years. Her talents were sought by government and private industry: during World War I she was employed by the United States Food Administration as consultant and by the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia as the head of its Nutrition Department. By the end of the war she was writing cook books and manuals of her own, rather than for the government; Bradley wrote more than ten books in 26 years. In 1925 and 1926 she went on a culinary lecture tour of the United States and Europe. In later Years she also ran a "radio school" of cookery, had her own newspaper column, and contributed articles to other newspapers and magazines.Bradley retired as principal of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery in 1944 and sold the school to Dr. Dana Wallace. She died on November 28, 1946.
The papers in this collection were originally pasted in a scrapbook; they have been removed for preservation purposes and rearranged according to type of material. Most of the collection consists of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery brochures, clippings, and Marion Bradley Atwood's biographies of her sister. Chronologically, the contents of this collection can be divided into two groups: papers from the early 1920s to the mid-1940s, when Alice Bradley was most well known, and those from 1977-1980, when interest in Fannie Farmer was revived by the closing of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery and by Knopf's reprinting of Fannie Merritt Farmer's book.
The following items have been removed from the collection and deposited in the Schlesinger Library Periodicals on June 1983:
- American Cookery (formerly The Boston Cooking School Magazine), January 1921 issue, Vol. XXV, No. 6
- The Woman's Home Companion, May 1925 issue, Vol. II, No. 5