The Housewife’s Library, originally published in Philadelphia in 1883, was published in Guelph the same year. The cookbook was compiled by a team of researchers and edited by George A. Peltz. The publisher, World Publishing Company, was established by a former Guelph alderman, J.W. Lyon. The book is divided into nine chapters and contains detailed recipes and useful tips to help the housewife manage and perform her domestic tasks at home. Along with preparing meals for the family, there is other helpful domestic information, suggesting its usefulness beyond the kitchen.
The publication of The Housewife’s Library in Guelph indicates the small city was growing and there was a local demand for cookbooks. Prior to the release of the book, Guelph experienced a population boom after the arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway, a major rail line in Ontario. The contents of the book reflect the diversity of Guelph’s population at the time, and citizens’ desire to be more cosmopolitan. For instance, when hosting dinner parties, The Housewife’s Library provides instructions for using French, English, and Russian serving techniques.
The Housewife's Library: (many volumes in one) Furnishing the very best help in all the necessities, intricacies, emergencies, and vexations that puzzle a housekeeper in every department of her duties in the home. Guelph, Ont.: World Publishing Co. 1883. Gift of Una Abrahamson. Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library