Friday, October 21, 2011

The WMBI Home Hour

That is one very used cook book. I almost passed right over it then I noticed the radio tower in the image. It's anachronistic in the narrow field of radio show cook books. The call letters of 1110 WMBI-AM, the originating station appear nowhere on the outside. It was for the WMBI Home Hour, hosted by Frances Youngren.She was the director of women's programs at the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. I note that in the image of her below the window behind her is fake. News clippings show the program aired at 11:00 AM.

Corroborating references to her, separate from the cook book, are scant. The 1951 Broadcasting yearbook lists her on the staff of WMBI as did issues though at least 1959. In 1957 Broadcasting Magazine wrote an article celebrating her 25 years in radio. That would put the start of her career around 1932. But the cook book was first printed in 1943. Clearly some of that first decade was something other than the cooking show.

The cookbook appears to have been published from 1943 to1947, and while the covers and  colors vary, it's contents were always the same. Volume 155  of Publishers Weekly briefly described the book "A unique cookbook of selected recipes of tempting dishes . . . and spiritual food, inspiring poetry, prose and scripture ... for the soul." Aside from trite biblical teaching, poetry, cleaning tips and recipes the book also includes some inspirational passages that were read on air during the program.

In 1953 she authored another cook book "Let's Have Fun Cooking" which was for children.Then around 1966 authored "Our Baby, God's Gift" which is probably the abomination that it sounds like. This copy is inscribed on the inside to May 12th 1946.