What were the most popular cookbooks in the 1950s in the US? I have seen lists that cite the many Betty Crocker cookbooks, but what about other authors (or companies)?

  • 1
    Hm...you already got my favorite. My mom got me a re-print of the 1950's era Betty Crocker. She still has one from her grandmother from an even earlier era.
    – justkt
    Commented Sep 3, 2010 at 14:07
  • Hi there, thanks for your question! Popularity is rather subjectively defined (highest-rated? copies sold? total or per year? etc.); it's OK for a question to have no single correct answer, but questions asking for a "list" of items should generally be started as Community Wiki. I've converted the question for you.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Sep 3, 2010 at 17:32
  • Thanks, I was not sure on this one because of circulation data.
    – Hbar
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 2:51

4 Answers 4


Elizabeth David (or was it davies) is another classic author who is is often credited with the food revolution in the UK. She may have been slightly later than 1950s however.

Her books include "Mediterranean Food", "French Country Cooking" and "Summer Cooking".

  • With the hint I went and checked. It is David and the books are all from the 50s.
    – Hbar
    Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 2:54

I'm guessing a little bit, but the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook and The Joy of Cooking were both in print in the 50s (both were initially printed in the 30s). As already stated Betty Crocker.

Per Wikipedia, those three have all sold very well over time:

  • Better Homes and Garden - 1930 - 38 million copies
  • Betty Crocker - 1955 - 27 million copies
  • The Joy of Cooking - 1936 - 18 million copies

Fannie Farmer's cookbook has been popular for years and years.


The Be-Ro Book in our house in the UK - Mum referred to it all the time. I still have a copy a bit old and battered

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