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"The Baking Powder Wars" reading by Linda Civitello

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Shelter Island Public Library

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Join us on Friday, August 25 at 7 pm for a reading of "The Baking Powder Wars" by Linda Civitello, at the Shelter Island Public Library's Friday Night Dialogues, which will be preceded by a reception with the author on the porch of the Manor House at 5:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

The event will celebrate the many links between Sylvester Manor and the Library and feature a reading and Q&A with author and food historian Linda Civitello.

Scientist, inventor and Harvard Professor Eben Norton Horsford, who married Sylvester descendent Mary L'Hommedieu Gardiner (and later her sister, Phoebe Gardiner), was the founder of the Rumford Chemical Company and the creator of Rumford Baking Powder, which revolutionized home baking in the mid- 1800's. He summered at Sylvester Manor, his wife's ancestral home, and brought with him many Cambridge intellectuals, including the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In 1885 Professor Horsford donated 280 volumes from his own collection and founded the first library on Shelter Island Library. Initially housed in a closet in the Old Store, a building located not far from the present library, the store burned down in 1891 and a new library, with more books donated by Professor Horsford, was built on a nearby lot donated by his daughter Lilian. His youngest daughter Cornelia became the library’s first president.

In "Baking Powder Wars," Ms. Civitello chronicles the titanic struggle that reshaped America's diet and rewrote its recipes and left behind products and processes that are still in use today by cooks all over the world.
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