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Feb 05

[ARCHIVED] Meal Planning in Kansas, 1926-1943

The original item was published from February 5, 2019 3:49 PM to February 5, 2019 3:51 PM

We have four new additions to the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library... a series of handbooks from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s on mealtime planning and etiquette.  Published by the State Board for Vocational Education, these booklets set out the "rules and regulations" (so to speak) of well planned family and social settings envisioned and probably followed by many in a bygone era.

As an example here is the table of contents from the 1926 edition of this booklet series:

Introduction -- The Dining Place -- Dining-Room Furnishings: Table; Chairs -- Linens: Silence Cloth; Tablecloth; Other Table Coverings; Napkins -- Decorations -- Dishes -- Glassware -- Silverware -- Tea Carts -- General Table Etiquette -- Setting The Table -- Serving The Food -- Clearing The Table -- Family Meals: Breakfast; Dinner; Supper Or Luncheon -- Company Meals: Simple Company Dinner; Company Dinner Served In Courses -- Party Service: Plate Service; Tray Service; Buffet Service -- Meals For Extra Farm Hands -- Community Meals -- Meal Planning.

Many Kansans, my own forebears among them, sat down to meals that were more modest/casual than those presented in theses booklets. But I could still see things that were carried over and taught to me in the 1950s and 1960s.

You can view these booklets here:

(1926, 1935, 1937, 1943)