AHTC Focus Workshop
Food, Drink, and Drugs in American History
November 3, 2012
Web Resources
* Primary Source Documents
Website: Description:

*AHTC – Local Primary Sources, “World War II”


Click here to find the following local primary source documents on rationing during WWII:

  • Cover of War Ration Book One, 1943
  • Ration Book One – open, 1943
  • Ration Book Two – cover, 1940s
  • Ration Book Three – cover, 1940s
  • Ration Book Three – open, 1940s
  • Ration Book Four – cover, 1940s
  • Ration Book Four – open, 1940s


*Feeding America – The Historic American Cookbook Project



“The Feeding America project has created an online collection of some of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. The digital archive includes page images of 76 cookbooks from the MSU Library's collection as well as searchable full-text transcriptions. This site also features a glossary of cookery terms and multidimensional images of antique cooking implements from the collections of the MSU Museum.”

Select the “BROWSE THE COLLECTION” tab at the top of the page to search for cookbooks alphabetically, by date and by interest. Select the “SEARCH THE COLLECTION” tab to search for recipes by name.


*Feeding America – “Handbook of Practical Cookery for Ladies and Professional Cooks”


Find a primary source Book Image Display of the 1867 cookbook, “Hand-book of Practical Cookery”.

Food Day – October 24, 2012

“Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.” Check out this website for events, stores, recipes, and videos related to Food Day. Also be sure to select the “Resources” tab for curriculum and lesson plans to help our youth “eat real”.


Food Timeline – USA Food History

This site features a large scope of food history offering a wealth of information, primary documents, and original research.  Click on the different links at the top of the page to learn about American food specific to a region, era, or ethnicity and how those foods evolved. Be sure to select “FOOD TIMELINE” at the top of the page to discover a food history timeline dating back to 17,000BC!


The Library of Congress – Immigration, “Recipes by Region”

Scroll down the list to view hundreds of recipes from different regions around the world! “Residents of the United States trace their family origins to countries around the world. The traditions of our forebears are reflected in the diversity of our recipes. Some recipes list ingredients which are unknown in this country, or which are unusual and difficult to find. Don't miss this window to the world! Be sure to enjoy the stories behind the recipes, too.”


MSNBC.com – Today, “10 foods that make America great”

This article names the top ten American foods that helped shape our nation. From New England Clam Chowder to Louisiana Po-Boys to Chicago Hot Dogs, read about these great American eats!


*The National Archives – What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? Exhibit

“From the farm to the dinner table, explore the records of the National Archives that trace the Government’s effect on what Americans eat.” This is an excellent resource only available for a short amount of time. Select the “PREVIEW” tab for historical information and primary documents specifically related to the farm, factory, kitchen and table.


*The National Archives – What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?, “World War I food conservation: ‘Pan de la libertad’”

Learn about “Liberty Bread” and Herbert Hoover’s efforts to urge Americans to conserve food during WWI.


*The National Archives – What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?, “What’s Cooking Wednesday: Top Ten Food Records of 2011”

In honor of the What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? exhibit, the National Archives have posted their Top Ten Food Records. Scroll down to find my personal favorite, “Vitamin Donuts”!


PBS Now – “10 Steps to Becoming a Locavore”

“Locavores are people who pay attention to where their food comes from and commit to eating local food as much as possible. The great thing about eating local is that it's not an all-or-nothing venture. Any small step you take helps the environment, protects your family's health and supports small farmers in your area.” Read this article to find 10 ways to become a Lacovore!


TEDEd - Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghettie Sauce

"Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce -- and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness."


U.S. News & World Report – “How America Eats”

Scroll through this series of stories and articles throughout U.S. History to learn about what Americans ate and how those cuisines have shaped our American culture today.



*Beer History – The Beer History Library

Browse this online collection of information about the history of breweries and the brewing industry in America. Be sure to check out this month’s featured article, “We Want Beer: Prohibition And The Will To Impede – Part 1.” By Carl Miller.

*Beer History – Diary of a 19th Century Brewmaster, John Schneider


“Sometime around 1905, an elderly John Schneider wrote a brief account of his lifetime of travels as a journeyman brewmaster. Although his story is probably not too different from the hundreds of other brewers who plied their trade in the mid- to late-19th Century, reading the story in Schneider's own humble, matter-of-fact words gives a unique sense of the trials and tribulations of the typical German-American immigrant.”


*Beer History – George Washington’s Recipe for Beer

Read George Washington’s recipe for “Small Beer”.

Coca-Cola – Heritage

Check out this interactive timeline to learn about the history and heritage of America’s favorite drink, Coca-Cola!

*Cornell University Law School – Legal Information Institute, Eighteenth Amendment

Here you will find an annotated version of the Eighteenth Amendment, which began prohibition of intoxicating liquors.

Food Timeline – Beverages

Have a question about where popular beverages came from? How about chocolate milk, smoothies, or root beer? Click through the links on this site to learn the history behind these beverages and much more!


*The Library of Congress – American Memory, “Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements: Highlights from the Motion Picture Archives at the Library of Congress”

This online collection “presents a variety of television advertisements, never-broadcast outtakes, and experimental footage reflecting the historical development of television advertising for a major commercial product. The online collection includes five excerpts from stop-motion advertising developed for Coca-Cola between 1954 and 1956 by the D'Arcy agency and makes public for the first time eighteen excerpts from the Experimental TV Color Project of 1964, which determined the best lighting for the cans, bottles, and performers in television advertisements. Featured advertisements include the 1971 "Hilltop" commercial with an international group of young people on an Italian hilltop singing "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke"; the "Mean Joe Greene" commercial from 1979; the first "Polar Bear" commercial from 1993; the "Snowflake" commercial from 1999; and "First Experience," an international commercial filmed in Morocco in 1999.”


*The National Archives – “Memorandum for Senator Pat Harrison opposing the pending legislation on federal alcohol control”

Read this 1935 document urging the Senate to remove beer from Prohibition Laws.


*The National Archives – “Wine, for all your expeditionary needs”

Read this short blog post about some interesting uses of wine throughout history, like for pilots to calm their nerves and keep them alert during flight.


National Geographic – Coffee

The history of coffee is chronicled on this site. From the legend of its Ethiopian origins circa 800A.D. to Brazil, the country that grows a third of the world’s supply, coffee has become an everyday necessity around the world.



*AHTC – Local Primary Sources, “Early Illinois Governors’ Letters”



Sort by topic to find 3 pages of a letter to Governor Ford by Charles Whitlaw, claiming to provide lectures on agriculture, featuring the unknown cause of “Milksickness”.

*AHTC – Local Primary Sources, “Flu Epidemic of 1918”


Click here to find Beecham’s Pills and Horlick's Malted Milk influenza medicine ads from 1919.

*AHTC – Local Primary Sources, “Hospitals and Medicine”



Click here for several local primary source documents on hospitals and medicine throughout different historical eras.

*AHTC – Local Primary Sources, “World War II”

Click here to find the following two local primary source documents on immunization records during WWII:

  • Walker’s Immunization Register back, 1942-1945
  • Walker’s Immunization Register, 1942-1945

*“A Counterblaste to Tobacco”, King James I of England


Originally published in 1604, then reprinted in the Workes of King James of 1616, this primary source text warns against the “vile customs of Tobacco”.

*Gutenberg – Tobacco Farming


Originally published in 1604, then reprinted in the Workes of King James of 1616, this primary source text warns against the “vile customs of Tobacco”.

History - Tobacco


Tobacco is one of the most widely used addictive substances in the world and is a plant native to the Americas. Learn more about the history of this valuable and important crop and its influence on American culture.

PBS Frontline – Drug Wars


In collaboration with NPR, this is a special Frontline series on the 30-year history of America’s war on drugs. Here you will find detailed information about the drug busters, buyers, and businesses that all play a part in this important history. Be sure to explore the site for first hand interviews, teacher resources, and related research.


Schmoop – History of Drugs in America


Schmoop is an excellent resource for your classroom as it makes information engaging and relevant to your students!  Here, you will find a wealth of information, including a timeline, facts, and photos all related to the history of Drugs in America. But more importantly, the site provides evidence as to why this is important for your students to learn.


Yale Global ONLINE – History of Globalization, “Tobacco: From Miracle Cure to Toxin”

This is a wonderful article on the history of tobacco and its global influence, especially on the world economy.
History of NASA & Space Exploration