Der Schweizerzuckerbäcker

(The Swiss Confectioner)

by Giacomo Perini (original author) and Adam Cnyrim

8th edition, probably published in 1869 by
Bernhard Friedrich Voigt, Weimar, Germany


Justus W. & Sophie Hellwig in front of
their bakery/confectionery store at 416
West Pratt St., Baltimore, MD, c.. 1900.

Click on an image to see a high-resolution version

This now brittle book, missing its covers and some of its pages, had been handed down through the generations from Justus W. and Sophie (Edeler) Hellwig, bakers and confectioners on West Pratt Street in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A, from 1865 (or perhaps slightly earlier) to the mid- or late-1890’s.  The book is stamped “S. Hellwig” on the table of contents page, so we assume that it belonged to Sophie.  Justus immigrated from Melsungen, Germany, in 1854; Sophia Edeler immigrated about the same year from Lübeck, Germany; and the two married in Baltimore in 1863.

The first page of the Table of Contents

From Encyclopedia of Food and Culture:1 “If there were one cookbook that served as a text for this expatriate Swiss food network, it was Giacomo Perini's richly illustrated Der Schweizerzuckerbäcker (The Swiss confectioner), which was published at Weimar, Germany, in 1852. Because it was written for a small circle of confectioners and thumbed to shreds, very few copies now survive, and it is today one of the rarest of all Swiss cookery books. Furthermore, the term "Swiss" in this context does not refer to a national style of cooking, but to an established reputation among Swiss confectioners for a high level of professionalism..”  

We have enlarged the pages a little to make them easier to read.  The original page size is 7.25 by 4.75 inches (18.4 by 12.1 cm).

Click here to read or download
the entire book (PDF, 55 MB)

The Fraktur typeface in which the book was printed was common in German-speaking countries up to the early 20th century.  The chart below may prove helpful to those not familiar with it.  The Fraktur letters in this chart are directly from the book pages (We were not able to find samples of some of the letters.  See references 2 and 3 for more help.)

If you are able to transcribe and translate any recipes, we would very much like to hear from you.  Write to Conrad Terrill at email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


1.  Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, Scribner Library of Daily Life, Vol. 2, Solomon H. Katz, Editor in Chief, William Woys Weaver, Associate Editor (Charles Scribner’s Sons, Thompson/Gale: 2003), p. 131 (online link).

2.  “Fraktur Chart,” by Mickey Koth, Yale University Music Library, 2009.

3.  “What Does This Blasted Thing Say?,” by Walt Vogdes, 1998.


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