Better Homes and Gardens Timeline

Better Homes and Gardens has always assumed a leadership role when it comes to how America eats. Over the years we've helped spot and create trends in eating, cooking, and kitchen design.
1920s - 1930s

The 1920s: Roaring Urban Advancements

1922: Better Homes and Gardens magazine launched under the name Fruit, Garden and Home.

1923: Household Editor Genevieve Callahan began testing and approving all published recipes from her home kitchen.

1924: First National Magazine Cooking Contest Introduced The magazine's name changed to Better Homes and Gardens, featuring the Cook's Round Table where readers shared their favorite recipes.

  • A $5 prize was awarded for the best recipe received each month.
  • There were 20 $1 prizes for the runners-up.
  • All winning recipes were published in Better Homes and Gardens.

1928: Testing-Tasting Kitchen Built Years of planning and development were needed to create a space that mirrored the size and functionality of a standard American home kitchen.

Some Testing-Tasting Kitchen features:

  • cupboards near the refrigerator
  • stools that turned into stepladders
  • countertops at waist level

Recipe Writing Revolution

  • In the '20s, a recipe for Raspberry Currant Pie would have read, "Add one cup of raspberries to three cups of ripe currants and bake in two crusts. Serve plain or with whipped cream."
  • The Test Kitchen filled in the missing information with level measurements for all parts of the recipe and more precise, descriptive methods.

The 1930s: The Crash, Dust Bowl, Depression

1930: First Edition BHG Cookbook. My Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook was a new kind of cookbook:

  • Ring binding, so it would lie flat on a countertop
  • Tab dividers for easy navigating
  • Combined advantages of a book and a recipe card file

1930s Whats for Dinner We've always helped answer
"what's for dinner?"

1932: The New MixMaster was tried out in the Test Kitchen

1932: An article "Six 20-Minute Dinners" was published in Better Homes and Gardens

1933: The Test Kitchen seal first appeared in the Prize Tested Recipe Contest.

1935: My Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook changed its name to the New Cook Book.

1935: The Test Kitchen seal made its first cookbook showing.

1938: An article, "Toss That Salad" was featured. It introduced tossed green salads to American families. The recipe was a variation on a classic French Vinaigrette Salad.

1939: Pomegranate seeds were introduced to the American public in a recipe for Citrus-Avocado Salad.

Continued on page 2:  1940s - 1950s