Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years

Thomas Jefferson's drawing of a macaroni machine and instructions for making pasta, ca. 1787.
(Thomas Jefferson Papers)


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States, acquired a taste for continental cooking while serving as American minister to France in the 1780s. When he returned to the United States in 1790 he brought with him a French cook and many recipes for French, Italian, and other au courant cookery. Jefferson not only served his guests the best European wines, but he liked to dazzle them with delights such as ice cream, peach flambe, macaroni, and macaroons. This drawing of a macaroni machine, with the sectional view showing holes from which dough could be extruded, reflects Jefferson's curious mind and his interest and aptitude in mechanical matters.

Gerard W. Gawalt, Manuscript Division

For Additional Information
For additional information on the Thomas Jefferson Papers, you can leave this site and read a summary catalog record for the collection.

Reproduction Number:
A30 (color slide); LC-MSS-27748-180 (B&W negative)

Related Terms:
Cookery | Food | France | Inventions | Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) | Pasta | Presidents | Recipes

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