Directory of Biscuit & Cracker Bakers of the United States & the Dominion of Canada 1885


Cat No.:   CA0034:

For North America, this is a very early Trade Directory and it provides a surprising array of information about a wider range of trades than the title would lead one to expect.  

The obvious question is, Why Biscuit and Cracker Bakers, and not Bakers in general? Well, the answer is contained in the directory itself. Bakers make two types of goods. Those for immediate consumption, soft bread, pies etc., which spoil quickly and could thus only be distributed locally, and those which would keep for long enough for them to be shipped to remote locations and thus form the basis for a national or international trade. The bakers engaged in the local trade had no need for a directory but those making goods which could be sold further afield - even Worldwide - needed a means of introducing buyers and sellers to each other. In other words, this directory became a necessity.

The directory addresses all aspects of the baking trade from the suppliers of raw ingredients; grains and milled flours, to the manufactures of production machines and those printers making packaging labels. The directory treats the whole of North America as a single territory, albeit using state and provincial boundaries to sub-divide the various lists, and even extends its reach to World wide traders in the important categories such as an Alphabetical list of Bakers.

In addition to the expected directory listings there are many pages taken up with advertising of everything from Baking capacity to box hinges. There are also several full color plates advertising printed labels to be used to add sales appeal. Color printing in a book of this age is most unusual especially as the color print quality is surprisingly good.

The last two directory lists seem a little out of place at first sight. One is a list of hotels by location and the other a list of towns with populations exceeding 5,000 people. I say out of place but when one realizes that this directory was as much a tool for the baker's traveling salesman as for the actual baker the logic becomes clear.

This directory is a source of approx. 120 year old information pertinent to a very specialized sector of industry not readily available elsewhere.

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