[Birmingham: The Council], 1951.
Octavo-size booklet (21.75 x 14 cm.), 52 pages. Advertisements. Table of contents. List of donors. Title and date of publication from cover. Author from prefatory acknowledgments on page 1. ~ Evident FIRST EDITION. A contracted community cookbook published “to enlarge our treasury so that we might help the poor, the sick, the needy, and the blind families here in our city.” With a group of sample menus followed by one hundred short, unattributed recipes; among them: Mushroom Canapés, Corn and Almond Soup, Green Rice, Ham Mousse, Carrot Nut Balls, Stuffed Artichokes, Tomato Mint Salad, Orange Soufflé, Pistachio Ice Cream, Black Bottom Pie. ~ Beta Sigma Phi began during the early years of the Great Depression as a reading club in Abilene, Kansas, at the initiative of a traveling reference-book salesman. Perceiving that many women sought yet lacked the means for self-improvement, Walter William Ross (1900-1969) envisioned a social and community-service association with chapters (councils) administered by local volunteers. In 1931, he founded a sorority that would claim no academic affiliation but adopt as its name the Greek initial letters for “life, learning, and friendship” ( ). ~ Rituals and degrees (orders of service) accrued, in some ways analogously to those of such organizations as the Order of the Eastern Star. There were no religious requirements, however, nor any minimum level of educational attainment. The sisterhood’s popularity soared beyond the expectations of its revered founder, who remained engaged throughout the remainder of his life, and eventually established a management company for the provision of business guidance and operational support to the myriad councils that formed both in North America and abroad. A systematic history of the local councils and the circumstances of their foundings has yet to be undertaken, but the Birmingham Council is known to have been active in the 1940s, when Beta Sigma Phi members from across the country raised twenty-two million dollars in United States government war bonds – an extraordinary achievement at a time when those who could not afford to buy bonds outright could do so by turning in books of ten-cent stamps accumulated over time. ~ Age-toning to the edges and a tideline to several pages toward the rear of the text; some light foxing. Stapled in publisher’s pink pearl-effect cardstock wrappers, titled in blue. Unrecorded. [OCLC locates no copies; not in Brown, Cagle, or Cather].