Skip to main content

Gertrude L. Sunderlin papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/35

Scope and Content

The collection (1926-1990, undated) contains biographical materials, correspondence, and reprints of articles written by her. Many of Sunderlin's writings focused on cooking, canning, recipes, and nutrition. The collection also contains materials related to her work with the Master Mix. In addition, there are articles written by her students regarding products developed in Sunderlin’s experimental cookery classes.


  • Creation: 1926-1990, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Gertrude L. Sunderlin was born on August 27, 1894, to Floyd and Mae Scott Sunderlin in Delmar, Iowa. She received a B.S. (1919) in Home Economics, an M.A. (1926) in Household Bacteriology and her Ph. D. (1928) in Bacteriology and Foods and Nutrition from Iowa State College (Iowa State University). She was the first woman to be granted a Ph. D. from Iowa State’s College of Home Economics.

She taught at Louisiana State University (1928-1931). Later she joined the faculty at Purdue University in 1931. Ten years later she became an Associate Professor (1941-1946) and later advanced to the rank of Professor (1946-1954).

Gertrude L. Sunderlin developed the first Master Mix for biscuits, cookies, muffins and cakes (1948). Master Mix consists of a premeasured mixture of dry ingredients and fats that can be stored up to six weeks and be used in cooking and baking. She also developed a recipe for freezing jelly and jam (1953). She later received a Centennial Citation from Alumni Association of Iowa State University (1958).

Dr. Sunderlin died on June 20, 1990 after a long illness and is buried in Oakland Cemetery, Iowa City, Iowa.


0.63 Linear Feet (1 document box and 1 half-document box)


The collection is arranged into four series:

Series 1, Biographical Information and Correspondence, 1954-1990, undated (alphabetical)

Series 2, Writings, Articles, and Publications, 1926-1971, undated (alphabetical)

Series 3, Master Mix Materials, 1947-1971, undated (alphabetical)

Series 4, Articles By Other People, 1943-1973, undated (alphabetical)

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/35. Gertrude L. Sunderlin papers, 1926-1990, undated
January 15, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672