Ida Bailey Allen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ida Cogswell Bailey Allen (1885–1973), once popularly known as "The Nation's Homemaker",[1] was the author of more than 50 cookbooks.[2] She was described as "The original domestic goddess" by antique cookbook experts Patricia Edwards and Peter Peckham.[3]

Mrs. Allen's Cookbook, 1917, one of the many cookbooks authored by Allen

Early years[edit]

Allen was born c. 1885 in Danielson, Connecticut.[4]


In 1924 Allen was food editor of the Sunday New York American. By 1928 she was hosting a regular daytime radio show which expanded to two hours the following year. She not only performed on the show, she also produced and sold her own advertising; she was a pioneer in selling spot advertising rather than having a single company sponsor a show. The program ended in 1932, at which time she began a syndicated cooking show on Columbia Network.[5][6] She became television’s first female food host on Mrs. Allen and the Chef.[3][7]

She was an editor of Good Housekeeping, writing the "Three Meals a Day" column,[8] as well as Home Economics Editor of Pictorial Review and Woman's World.[7] She was President and founder of the National Radio Home-Makers Club. During World War II, Allen's talents were drafted by the US Food Administrator as lecturer.

She once lived atop 400 Madison Avenue, New York City where visitors were able to see the "latest developments in homemaking", and could watch her staff develop and test new recipes for cooking.[7] A 1932 promotional book she wrote for Coca-Cola, When You Entertain, was so popular 375,000 copies were sold in under six months.[9]


Allen died July 16, 1973, in Norwalk, Connecticut.[4]

Published works[edit]

This is a partial list of Allen's published works.

  • Mrs. Allen's Cookbook. Small, Maynard and Company. 1917.
  • For The Bride - Helpful Hints Practical Suggestions and Valuable Records. Reuben Donnelley Corp., Chicago 1922 & 1923.
  • Home Partners, or, Seeing the Family Through, Privately Printed, 1924
  • Cooking Menu Service. Garden City Publishing. 1924. ASIN B0047CXEDW.
  • The Modern Method of Preparing Delightful Foods. Corn Products Refining Company. 1927.
  • Your Foods and You, PF Collier & Son, 1929
  • Service Cook Book #1. 1933. ASIN B000OHDGBE.
  • Ida Bailey Allen's Modern Cook Book 2500 Delicious Receipes. Garden City Publishing Co. 1932. ASIN B0021YZ4AE.
  • When You Entertain – What To Do and How. Coca-Cola. 1932. ASIN B000I93FBE.
  • The Service Cook Book No. 2. Educational Publishing Corp. for F. W. Woolworth Co. 1935.
  • Money-Saving Cook Book; Eating for Victory. Nelson Doubleday. 1942. ASIN B0041H39LU.
  • Pressure Cooking. Garden City Books. 1949. ASIN B001TAEFU6.
  • Ida Bailey Allen's Step By Step Picture Cook Book. Grosset and Dunlap. 1952. ASIN B000NP2ORY.
  • Gastronomique: A cookbook for gourmets, 1962
  • Best Loved Recipes of the American People, 1973


  1. ^ Pack, MM (15 July 2011). "A Brief History of Food Radio". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Ida Bailey Allen". LibraryThing. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b Patricia Edwards and Peter Peckham. "Collecting classic cookbooks: Repasts from the past". excerpt from the Antique Trader® Collectible Cookbooks Price Guide. Antique Trader. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 9.
  5. ^ Kathleen Morgan Drowne; Patrick Huber (2004). The 1920s. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 70. ISBN 978-0313320132. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  6. ^ Hilmes, Michele (1997). Radio Voices: American broadcasting, 1922-1952. University of Minnesota Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0816626212.
  7. ^ a b c Allen, Ida Bailey (1933). The Service Cookbook. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Service, Inc.
  8. ^ Allen, Ida C. Bailey (1917). Mrs. Allen's Cookbook. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company. p. 755.
  9. ^ Mooney, Phil. ""When You Entertain" book". Coca Cola Conversations. Retrieved 5 November 2012.