Travelling physician, salesman, author and self-made man, Dr. Chase dispensed remedies all over America during the late nineteenth century, collecting recipes and domestic tips from the people he met along the way. His self-published books became celebrated bestsellers and were the household Bibles of their day. Containing recipes for American treats such as Boston cream cakes, Kentucky Corn Dodgers and pumpkin pie, as well as genial advice on baking bread and testing whether a cake is cooked, this is a treasure trove of culinary wisdom from the homesteads of a still rural, pioneering United States.
Alvin Wood Chase (1817-1885) was born in Cayuga County, New York and spent his early years peddling household wares and medicines and collecting folk remedies along the Maumee River near Toledo, Ohio. His first published A GUIDE TO WEALTH! OVER ONE HUNDRED VALUABLE RECIPES FOR SALOONS, INNKEEPERS, GROCERS, DRUGGISTS, MERCHANTS AND FAMILIES GENERALLY in 1858 and by the 1863 edition, the book contained over 800 recipes. In 1897 he published DR. CHASE'S THIRD, LAST AND COMPLETE RECIPE BOOK. His books were great sellers especially among pioneers and settlers who were eager to have a multi-purpose ho-to guide to assist them in everyday life.