Corson, Juliet

Corson, Juliet

(1841–97) cookery educator; born in Roxbury (now Boston), Mass. Daughter of a prosperous wholesale produce merchant, she largely educated herself by reading at home until, at age 16, she took a job in a library in New York City. She soon began to contribute articles and poems to newspapers; by 1873 she was a secretary for the Women's Educational and Industrial Society of New York. In 1874–75 she lectured during cooking classes by chefs and then in 1876 opened her own New York Cooking School in her home. Within a few years she was enjoying wide success as a pioneer advocate of better foods and cooking for poor families, writing pamphlets (such as Fifteen Cent Dinners for Families of Six, 1877), and lecturing throughout the Northeast; within the next decade she was internationally recognized as an expert on such innovations as teaching dietetics and educating groups such as nurses on the need to know about cooking. Her numerous publications include Family Living on $500 a Year (1887) and several cookbooks such as Juliet Corson's New Family Cookbook (1885). After achieving recognition at the World's Columbian Exposition (1892), she was forced by her poor health to restrict her activities to writing.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.