Lost Treasure

The Ascent and Eclipse of a Reformer and Radio Star


  • Blake Perkins Independent Scholar Author




BBC Radio, nutrition, Florence Petty, Seebohm Rowntree, social welfare reform, urban street vendors, United Kingdom, Pudding Lady’s Recipe Book, early 20th-century, urban working class, cooking skills, social history, culinary celebrities


At the outset of the twentieth century malnutrition plagued the working people of Britain and their families. Their cooking skills had deteriorated and many of them relied on street vendors for most of their food. Successive governments and the medical establishment ignored evidence of the problem. Through the adaptation and innovation of social welfare practices a number of organisations and people including Florence Petty sought to alleviate the suffering of the working poor. Petty taught women to cook in their homes, established educational pilot programs, lectured extensively to raise awareness of the problem and became one of the leading broadcasters in the early years of BBC radio.

Author Biography

  • Blake Perkins, Independent Scholar

    Blake Perkins conducts research and writes about culinary history. His primary but not only interest in that respect is the evolution of British foodways and their impact on historical culinary practices in North America. He operates a website, www.britishfoodinamerica.com.


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How to Cite

Lost Treasure: The Ascent and Eclipse of a Reformer and Radio Star. (2024). Petits Propos Culinaires, 128, 56-103. https://doi.org/10.1558/ppc.28874