Today, February 23, is National Banana Bread Day. While banana bread (as we now know it) became a staple among home bakers in the 1930s, banana bread had its start in the late Victorian era where “banana flour” came to the United States from the tropics. Vintage newspaper advertisements show the beginnings of banana bread available in bakeries and homemakers’ awareness of quality nutrition to be found in the imported fruit and “flour.” With or without nuts, banana bread is a hallmark of American quick breads… and our nineteenth century ancestors, complete with baking powder and a wealth of cake-baking knowledge, were prepared for the post-Great Depression’s urge to “use it up.”
Cake tins are often mentioned in Victorian-era Cook Books (as spelled in nineteenth century publications). This post provides historic images of this era’s baking pans from both newspaper advertisements and catalog ads (such as Sears and Montgomery Ward’s catalogs).
Many of the shapes and sizes are familiar to today’s baker’s options, and several have disappeared in the intervening years. My greatest surprise is the SIZE of Victorian cake pans. Compare to today’s, and see what I mean!