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Book of the Week — A Treatise on the Art of Making Good and Wholesome Bread

Persons who have travelled much on the continent are well aware that our neighbours have the art of throwing much more variety and gratification of the palate into the article of subsistence which has been emphatically called the staff of life, than we possess. The French and Germans convert the farinaceous flour of vegetables into a variety of excellent articles of food, and not serving, like our own, as a mere companion to pair off with so many mouthfuls of meat. In speaking thus of the use of bread, I do not mean to deny that bread is highly alimentary, its nourishing powers are undoubtedly very great.

A Treatise on the Art of Making Good and Wholesome Bread
Fredrick Accum (1769-1838)
London: Printed for Thomas Boys, 7, Ludgate Hill, 1821
First edition
TX394 A33 1821

Friedrich Christian Accum was a German chemist who made major advancements in gas lighting technology. Accum carried out several experiments regarding this possibility, working for the Gas Light and Coke Company, for whom he became a member of the board of directors in 1812. The company founded the first gasworks in London, supplying gas lighting to private and public areas.

Accum’s books, which included manuals on brewing and cooking, were written in a style that was accessible to the common reader and helped to popularized chemistry during his lifetime. His most popular book was one in which he denounced the use of chemical additives to food: The Adulteration of Foods and Culinary Poisons marked the beginning of a public awareness of the need for food safety oversight. A review of Adulteration at the back of Treatise acts as advertisement for a new edition. The book sold well, but earned Accum backlash from London food manufacturers. He left England, where he had lived for thirty years, after a lawsuit was brought against him. He taught at an industrial institution in Berlin until his death.

Rare Books copy in publisher’s boards papered in blue with a new backstrip and label. 1938 inscription on back cover.

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