Corson, Juliet (1841–1897)

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Corson, Juliet (1841–1897)

American cookery instructor. Born on January 14, 1841 (some sources cite 1842), in Roxbury, Massachusetts; died on June 18, 1897, in New York City; privately educated.

Selected writings:

Fifteen Cent Dinners for Families of Six (1877); Cooking Manual (1877); Training Schools of Cookery (1879); Twenty-five Cent Dinners for Families of Six (1878); Cooking School Text-Book (1879); Juliet Corson's New Family Cook Book (1885); Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery (1886); Family Living on $500 a Year (1887).

Juliet Corson was born in Massachusetts in 1841 but lived in New York City from the time she was six. Kept from school due to fragile health, she was educated privately, largely in her uncle's extensive library, and was earning a living as a librarian for the Working Woman's Library by the age of 18. She published verse and other writings in periodicals to supplement her income and eventually had a regular column in the New York Leader on subjects of interest to women. The National Quarterly Review hired Corson as an indexer, a position that led to a job as a staff writer.

Corson was an organizer and secretary of the Free Training School for Women in 1873. The school initially provided lessons in bookkeeping, sewing, and proofreading, and Corson added a cooking course in 1874. She hired a chef to demonstrate while she gave the lectures. In November 1876, she opened the New York Cooking School, which was an instant success. The following year, she wrote the textbook for the course entitled Cooking Manual (1877). Her success was furthered by her pamphlet Fifteen Cent Dinners for Families of Six, which Corson published and distributed at her own expense during a time of economic crisis in America. By 1878, Corson was traveling widely to lecture, and the next year she was responsible for the important circular Training Schools of Cookery. As a consultant on founding and operating cooking schools, Corson was contacted by government organizations. She worked as editor of Household Monthly during 1890–91. At the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Corson was honored for her work and presided over the exhibit of the New York State cooking school.

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