Cake Ideas From 75 Years Ago.

Decorating By letseatcake Updated 17 Oct 2005 , 5:58am by Liis

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letseatcake Posted 15 Oct 2005 , 1:38am
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Does anyone have an idea of where I can find pictures of cakes for 75 years ago? A customer is giving her mother a 75th birthday party and she wants the cake to look antique. Please help.


11 replies
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stephanie214 Posted 15 Oct 2005 , 2:00am
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Have you tried the library...someone told me that they have alot of books on cake decorating?

What type are you looking for...fancy or average? Will keep my eye open for any old books and let you know.

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tabs8774 Posted 15 Oct 2005 , 5:08pm
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i googled cakes from 1930 and found this site. it dosent have any pics of cakes but it has info about everything that happened or was invented in 1930.. maybe you could get some ideas from it??hope it helps icon_smile.gif

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scoobam Posted 15 Oct 2005 , 5:45pm
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Maybe you could google like 1930's interior design, or women's fashion, wedding style/cakes....things like that and maybe something will spring inspiration. Good Luck!

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okieinalaska Posted 15 Oct 2005 , 5:57pm
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Anything done in Lambeth style would be antique looking although it might take you forever to finish and I don't think people are willing to pay what that is worth!

I have some of Mary Ford's 100 cake designs cake books. But they look antique, the colors and some of the designs. Her piping methods are in what I would call a lambeth style but without the elaborate over the top lambeth look. I will see if I can post a few later, I am not at home.

For example look at the cover of this book on ebay:

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KayDay Posted 15 Oct 2005 , 6:03pm
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Instead of 75 years about 50 - era she would REMEMBER? I know I don't cherish much of anything about the year I was born...I don't remember it of course. But 10 years later! Thats some fond memories! Just a suggestion...hope it helps. Karen

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jgclucas Posted 15 Oct 2005 , 6:22pm
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That was the art deco period. Cartoons like Popeye and Betty Boop were also popular. Maybe you could find out what her favorite childhood toy, book or cartoon character was? Or possibly you could make bct or edible images of some of the popular things of the day? Or maybe of some pictures from her childhood?

I found this about birthday cake history:

Birthday cake

Cakes were eaten to celebrate birthdays long before they were called "birthday cakes." Food historians confirm ancient bakers made cakes (and specially shaped breads) to mark births, weddings, funerals, harvest celebrations, religious observances, and other significant events. Recipes varied according to era, culture, and cuisine. Cakes were usually saved for special occasions because they were made with finest, most expensive ingredients available to the cook. The wealthier one was, the more likely one might consume cake on a more frequent basis.

The birthday cakes we enjoy today are inventions of the 19th century. These were enjoyed by middle and upper classes. People with less money and poorly stocked larders also made birthday cakes. Their were not quite the light, fluffy iced concoctions served by their wealthier contemporaries. In all places and times, cooks blessed with creativity and "make do" spirit generated some pretty fine foods in the name of love. This was also true in War time.

The practice of eating cake on a regular basis by "average people" became possible in the 19th century. Why? The Industrial Revolution made many baking ingredients more affordable (mass-production) and readily available (railroads). It also introduced modern leavening agents, (baking soda, baking powder), a variety of cheaper substitutions (corn syrup for sugar; margarine for butter), and more reliable ovens.

Cake history expert Simon R. Charlsey makes this observation:

"Birthday cakes might still in the nineteenth century be of the same kind [as wedding cakes], but as their use spread, their composition became typically simpler. For preference of the child or other person celebrating, or of the cook, or whatever the confectioner had used for a decorated shop cake."
---Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley [Routledge:London] 1992 (p. 61)

"Although fruitcakes and rich, yeasted cakes were the traditional English festive cakes, the modern form of birthday cake originated in American kitchens in the mid-nineteenth century. In contrast to their European counterparts, American women were active home bakers, largely because of the abundance of oven fuel in the New World and the sparsity of professional bakers. By the late 1800s, home bakers were spurred further by several innovations. The cast-iron kitchen stove, complete with its own quickly heated oven, became standard equipment in urban middle-class homes. Wome in towns had more discretionary time, compared to farm-women, and they had an expanding social life that required formal and informal hospitality. Sugar, butter, spice, and flour costs were dripping. Improved chemical leavening agents, baking powder among them, enabled simpler and faster baking and produced a cake of entirely different flavor and texture. A cake constructed in layers, filled and frosted, became the image of the standard birthday cake. One observer of the early 1900s compared bubbly soap lather to "the fluffiness of a birthday cake" and snowy, frost covered hills to iced birthday cakes...Writing on birthday cakes began with professional bakers and caterers, who were proliferating in growing cities. The cakes of the late 1800s were deocrated with inscriptions like "Many Happy Returns of the Day" and the celebrant's name, a tradition that continues into the twenty-first century. Sometimes the cake was home-baked but then decorated by a specialist...The phrase "Happy Birthday" did not appear on birthday cake messages until the popularization of the now-ubiquitous song "Happy Birthday to You" (1910). Cookbook authors began to recommend decorating with birth dates and names and offered instruction on how to make colored frostings...By 1958, A.H. Vogel had begun to manufacture preformed cake decorations. Inexpensive letters, numbers, and pictorial images, such as flowers or bow, with matching candleholders were standard supermarket offerings."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 100)
[NOTE: This book also contains notes on birthday celebrations and candles.]


Ask a librarian a question and you are at risk of getting a long answer, sorry. icon_biggrin.gif

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aliciaL_77 Posted 15 Oct 2005 , 6:55pm
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I like the idea of the favorite toy or memory from her childhood...just my 2cents

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peacockplace Posted 16 Oct 2005 , 12:12am
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Here's a link to a picture I found in a search for antique cake pictures. Hope it helps.

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infields Posted 16 Oct 2005 , 10:47pm
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Hi Ivy,
How about an ivory hat box with pearls, gloves and some Victorian roses.

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ntertayneme Posted 16 Oct 2005 , 10:56pm
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I like that idea infields.. kind of old fashion w/the gloves and a hat box... kind or reminds me of that era icon_smile.gif

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Liis Posted 17 Oct 2005 , 5:58am
post #12 of 12

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