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MC 348

Bradley, Alice, 1875-1946. Papers, 1893-1980: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


Radcliffe College
June 1983

© 1983 Radcliffe College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 348
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Alice Bradley, 1875-1946
Title: Papers, 1893-1980
Quantity: 1/2 file box, 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder
Abstract: Brochures, clippings, biographies, etc., of Alice Bradley, home economist, hospital dietitian, principal of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery.

Processing Information:

Processed: June 1983
By: Sheila M. Simmons

Acquisition Information:

Accession number: 83-M59
The papers of Alice Bradley were given to the Schlesinger Library in March 1983 by her sister, Marion Bradley Atwood, via Bertha Ann DeLeon.

Preferred citation for publication:

Alice Bradley Papers, 1893-1980; item description, dates. MC 348, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


AB 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 (BCS). AB went on to attend the BCS, where Fannie Merritt Farmer (FMF) 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 AB was graduated from the BCS; 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 FMF opened Miss Farmer's School of Cookery (MFSC). She invited AB 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. AB taught at the school for nine years, and then taught at the New York School of Cookery for two. When FMF died in 1915, AB bought MFSC from Cora Dexter Perkins, FMF'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.
AB attained national recognition as a home economist largely through the work she did outside MFSC. 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 US 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; AB 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.
AB retired as principal of MFSC 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 MFSC 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 AB was most well known, and those from 1977-1980, when interest in Fannie Farmer was revived by the closing of MFSC and by Knopf's reprinting of FMF's book.


Additional catalog entries

Atwood, Marion Bradley, 1887-
Farmer, Fannie Merritt, 1857-1915
Boston Cooking School
Cooking schools
European War, 1914-1918--Women's work
Miss Farmer's School of Cookery


The following items have been removed from the collection and deposited in the Schlesinger Library Periodicals on June 1983: