Rombauer.   Irma Starkloff     - The first 1936 'Trade' edition - 1st issue. Rare.
The Joy of Cooking
By IRMA S. ROMBAUER. A Compilation of Reliable Recipes with a Casual Culinary Chat - Illustrations. Marion Rombauer Becker. THE BOBS-MERRILL COMPANY. Publishers. INDIANAPOLIS NEW YORK.
FIRST TRADE EDITION -- 1ST ISSUE. 1936. Pp. 1 fep. Title page. 1pp. Dedication. 1pp. Forward. 4pp. Contents. Half title. (1-628) 2fep. Original blue and cream/light brown multi lined checked cloth boards with black square on the front cover with the book title. Original spine very nicely relaid on blue leather with original book title laid down. Covers very slight fading and browning. Internally very slight age browning, as expected. Overall a very nice solid copy of the very scarce 1936 edition, first issue. NB: Some bibliographers state the first edition - first issue comes only in a yellow checked cover. This is not true. This copy in blue checked cover is the second one seen as well as one with a yellow cover, both true 1st editions, 1st issues with no further issued printing information.
- This edition is generally known as the 'First Trade Edition’ of 1936. Irma Rombauer, recently widowed, (her husband committed suicide) sunk half of her inheritance of $6000.oo into a self-published run of 3000 copies of the 1931 ‘family edition’ of the Joy of Cooking and gave them out to family, friends and acquaintances. Published by A.C. Clayton of St Louis (a company which had never published a book before but printed labels for fancy St Louis shoe companies and for Listerine). Eventually all 3000 copies were given away or sold. Encouraged by the response, Irma Rombauer, on May 1st, 1936, published the first ‘trade edition’ of the Joy of Cooking with Bobbs-Merrill Company - Indianapolis and New York. The larger 1936 edition contained 628 pages and copies published were: 1st printing - 10,000 of which a respectable 6,838 copies sold in the first 6 months. 2nd printing of 1938 – 10,000. 3rd printing of 1939 – 10,000. 4th printing of 1940 – 10,000. 5th printing of 1941 – 10,000. 6th printing of 1941 – 10,000. Between 1936 and the end of 1942 -- 52,151 copies of the first trade edition were sold. The 2nd edition of June 7th 1943 had an increased 884 pages and 167,261 copies were sold. The first trade edition pioneered a new recipe format: first a chronological listing of ingredients and then instruction for preparation, what we now know as 'action format'. Unfortunately, Irma signed a contract which assigned the copyright of both the 1931 and 1936 editions to Bobbs-Merrill, a situation that would in the years to come, badly strain both parties. Anne Mendelson author of 'Stand Facing the Stove' informs; The editions that mark genuine stages of the book's developement are eight in number: the original privately published 'Joy of Cooking' [1931], this Bobbs-Merrill edition [1936] the best-selling wartime edition [1943], the first postwar edition [1946], (actually printed from the 1943 plates with a very few changes), the first Rombauer-Becker edition [1951], the unauthorised edition [1962], the first authorised edition prepared by Irma's daughter, Marion (Rombauer) Becker [1963], and Marion's last revision [1975].

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Modern category
ref number: 10937