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Food & Drink History Resources @Virginia Tech (and Beyond): Home Remedies/Folk or Traditional Medicine/Patent Medicines

Special Collections in the University Libraries can help with your food & drink history research, including books, manuscript collections, ephemera & digital items. This LibGuide also includes resources you can find at other institutions.

In addition to suggested resources below, you may also want to view our "Cocktail History in America" LibGuide. On the "General Histories & Specific Topics" page, there is also a small section on "Bitters & Patent Medicines." Our resource guide for introductory Appalachian Studies courses also contains a section on food: Food & Foodways (incl. traditional medicine, farming, & agriculture). In addition, the library's catalog can help you locate additional patent medicine-sponsored almanacs or cookbooks (we have included only a few examples below). 

Suggested Books & Publications

  • Almanac: Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills RM671 .C65 Spec Small
  • Ayer's American Almanac AY81.P3 A94 Spec Small
  • The Blanchard System. Concentrated Nerve and Brain-Building and Semi-Digested Foods: for the Prevention and Cure of Disease, particularly of the Nervous System and Digestive Organs RM258 .B43 1875z Spec Small
  • Burdock Blood Bitters: Alamanac and Key Health RM671.B87 M5 1888 Spec Small
  • The Care of Baby RJ61 .C35 1919 Spec Small
  • The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, Kt. Opened: Whereby is Discovered Several Ways for Making of Metheglin, Sider, Cherry-wWine, &c., together with Excellent Directions for Cookery: as also for preserving, conserving, candying, &c. TP520 .D5 1967 Spec Large
    • Reprint of publication from 1669
  • The Compleat Housewife, or, Accomplish'd Gentlewoman's Companion: Being a Collection of Upwards of Five Hundred of the Most Approved Receipts in Cookery with Copper Plates Curiously Engraven for the Regular Disposition or Placing the Various Dishes and Courses. And also Bills of Fare for Every Month of the Year. To Which is Added, a Collection of Above Two Hundred Family Receipts of Medicines TX705 .S535 1734 Spec Large
  • The Cow-Bot & Com-Cel-Sar RA776.5 .W45 1912 Spec Small
  • Diets for the Sick RM671 .R44 1900z Spec Small
  • Domestic Economy Revived: In a Series of Recipes, Adapted to the Cure of Diseases Common to the People of the United States: Together with Remedies Made Use of by Celebrated Indian Physicians, in Cases Heretofore Considered Incurable. Also, a Few Sketches Worthy the Attention of the Farmer, the Mechanic, and the Housewife TX153 .P55 1820 Spec Small
  • Dr. Chases's Recipes, or, Information for Everybody: An Invaluable Collection of About Eight Hundred Practical Recipes... TX153 .C49 1866 Spec Small
  • Dr. Fenner's Peoples Remedies for the Family Cook Book RM671.D7 F46 1903 Spec Large
  • Dr. Miles Candy Book TX791 .D76 1900 Spec Small
  • Dr. Miles Cook Book TX715 .D7 1920z Spec Small
  • Dr. O. Phelps Brown's Shakespearian Annual Almanac PR2885 .D63 Spec Small
  • Dr. S. J. Sears' Domestic Receipt Book RM388 .S42 1868 Spec Small
  • Five Thousand Receipts in All the Useful and Domestic Arts, Constituting a Complete and Universal Practical Library, and Operative Cyclopaedia by Colin Mackenzie TX153 .M15 1827 Spec Large
  • Food and Health RM671.L98 F6 Spec Small
  • Hamlin's Wizard Oil Linament RM671.H36 H36 1900 Spec Small
  • The Household Guide or Domestic Cyclopedia: Home Remedies for Man and Beast ...RC81 .J47 1895 Spec Small AND RC81 .D38 1891 Spec Small
  • Morning, Noon, Night: Almanac AY81.P3 M67 Spec Large
  • Nostrums and Quackery: Articles on the Nostrum Evil and Quackery Reprinted...R730 .A52 1912bx Spec Large
  • A Pocket-companion, Containing Things Necessary to be Known by All that Values Their Health and Happiness: being a Plain Way of Nature's Own Prescribing, to Cure Most Diseases in Men, Women and Children, by Kitchen-Physick Only... RM215 .T8 1692 Spec Small
  • Rawleigh's Good Health Guide, Almanac and Cookbook AY81.H7 R3 Spec Large
  • Romany Remedies and Recipes RS127 .P5 1935 Spec Small
  • You are Lucky!: Take This Home RM671.D56 Y68 1890 Spec Small

Suggested Manuscript Collections