Ruth Graves Wakefield
June 17, 1903|
East Walpole, MA
|Died||January 10, 1977
|Education||Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts|
Early Life and Business
Wakefield was educated at Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts in 1924. Then, she worked as a dietitian and lectured about foods. In 1930, she and her husband Kenneth Donald Wakefield (1897-1997) bought a tourist lodge (toll house) in the town of Whitman, Massachusetts in Plymouth County. Located about halfway between Boston and New Bedford, it was a place where passengers had historically paid a toll, changed horses and ate home-cooked meals. When the Wakefields opened their business, they named the establishment the Toll House Inn. Ruth cooked and served all the food and soon gained local fame for her desserts. The restaurant had many visitors, including Massachusetts' Senator John F. Kennedy. Her chocolate chip cookies soon became very popular. She invented chocolate chip cookies in 1930.  In 1930, she was mixing a batch of cookies for her guests when she discovered that she was out of baker's chocolate.  She substituted broken pieces of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate, expecting it to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate cookies, but instead she accidentally invented chocolate chip cookies.  Ruth contacted Nestlé and they struck a deal: The company would print her recipe on the cover of all their semi-sweet chocolate bars, and she would get a lifetime supply of chocolate. Nestlé began marketing chocolate chips to be used especially for cookies. Ruth wrote a cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes, that went through 39 printings starting in 1930.
- "Nestlé Toll House Café - Toll House History". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- "Ruth Wakefield: Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- Toll House Tried and True Recipes, 1940. Retrieved May 3, 2012
- "Inventor of the Week Archive: Chocolate Chip Cookie". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- Staff report (January 11, 1977). Ruth Wakefield, at 73; created toll house cookie. Boston Globe