Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Susan F. Berry Notebook, 1793, 1849

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, August 2011

Summary Information
Title: Susan F. Berry notebook
Creator: Berry, Susan Farnham
Inclusive dates: 1793, 1849
Bulk dates: 1793
Extent: 1 volume
The Susan F. Berry notebook contains directions for solving numeric and descriptive arithmetic problems, and the solutions to the problems, as well as a collection of recipes.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2001. M-4159.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Susan F. Berry Notebook, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Little is known of Susan Farnham Berry. Berry lived in Salem, Massachusetts, and married before 1793. She acquired an education and showed interest in arithmetic, particularly as it pertained to weights and measures, and in cooking.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Susan F. Berry notebook contains directions for solving numeric and descriptive arithmetic problems, and the solutions to the problems, as well as a collection of recipes. The first section, "Mercantile Arithmetick," presents written and numerical explanations of basic mathematics, including space for the practice of writing numerical figures and numerous examples of problems based on numbers and on real-world applications. The second section of the notebook, entitled a "Table of Money, Weights, Measures, &c.," is devoted to a series of conversion tables.

These include:

  • United States federal money
  • English money
  • Weight
  • Cloth measures
  • Length
  • Square areas
  • Wine
  • Ale/Beer
  • Cubic measures and solids
  • Dry measures
  • Time

Following these tables, Berry wrote several passages on compound addition and subtraction, and discussed the conversion and reduction of measurements into different units. Berry also added currency conversion tables specific to several monies, including United States federal money, English money, and individual currencies used in different areas of the United States, including New England and South Carolina/Georgia systems.

The final 48 pages of the notebook consist of a number of recipes, especially for baked goods, such as tea biscuits and different types of cakes. Of particular note are non-food instructions; for example "To Kill Cock Roaches," "Technical terms in Painting," and instructions "to die [sic] a good black."

Subject Terms

    • Arithmetic--Early works to 1900.
    • Arithmetic--Problems, exercises, etc.
    • Arithmetic--Study and teaching.
    • Cooking, American--History.
    • Money--Great Britain--History.
    • Money--Tables.
    • Money--United States--History--18th century.
    • Salem (Mass.)
    • Weights and measures--Tables.
    • Weights and measures--United States.
    Genre Terms:
    • Instrutional materials.
    • Notebooks.
    • Recipes.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Susan F. Berry notebook,  1793 and  1849 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library holds many manuscript mathematical notebooks and problems. Among these collections are: