Norwich, Conn. [Richmond Stove Company, circa 1885].
Duodecimo (16.5 x 13 cm.), 64 pages. Illustrated. Date of issue surmised from patent information. Representative's stamp on cover: J. H. Wells, sole agent for Richmond Ranges, Stoves, and Furnaces, Portsmouth, N.H. True to its word, Richmond Receipts provides "hints and helps" beyond what is needed for baking and roasting – including a few entries for ice cream – in about one hundred seventy recipes. Advertising is unobtrusive: "Bake in ordinary stove three-quarters of an hour; in a Richmond Range, thirty minutes". There is one appeal to external authority: "To make a pie, by Miss Parloa")but the remainder are unattributed. A nice oddity is the entry "To Pickle Nasturtiums". The booklet was a vehicle for advertising models of Richmond stoves, ranges, and furnaces. There survives an edition with an identical title and a full publisher's statement: Published by the Richmond Stove Co., 1893. This undated version is tentatively held to be earlier. An illustration of the Trophy Range (page 54) helps little, as this standard model was patented in 1870 and sold through the turn of the century. Something similar could be said for the Triumph Range, not shown but featured in several recipes (such as Richmond Triumph Custard Pie, page 32). But the Ivy Franklin stove illustrated here (page 6) fits the description in a patent dated 1885. It might be helpful to clarify that the Richmond Stove Company incorporated in Norwich, Connecticut in June 1867 has no connection with the better known Richmond Stove Company established, before the Civil War, in the iron-works manufacturing region of Richmond, Virginia. In a striking coincidence, the former company was not named for the location of its foundries, but rather had an eponym, or perhaps two, about whom little is known. There were design patents for iron stoves entered as early as 1859 for one A. Richmond of Brooklyn (Connecticut) and one S. G. Richmond of Norwich – that is, Appolos Richmond (1811-1881) and Sampson Gray Richmond (1837-1873) – and related new patents recorded under these names well into the 1870s. John H. Wells worked under contract for the town of Portsmouth as a repairman, including "repairs on stoves" in schools and almshouses, at least from 1884. The Company maintained offices in Cleveland and, later, in New York, but otherwise relied on representatives, for whose use booklets such as these were distributed. Attractively designed and printed, in lightly soiled, gilt-lettered blue wrappers. Near fine. [OCLC locates no copies of this undated printing; three copies of the 1893 booklet with this title, but with 67 pages and printed at the "Press of the Plimpton Mfg. Co., Hartford, Conn., 1893"; in neither Brown nor Cagle].