Ruth Jones (Graves) Wakefield

Ruth Jones (Graves) Wakefield (1903 - 1977)

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Ruth Jones Wakefield formerly Graves
Born in East Walpole, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Died in Plymouth, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Graves-4 created 3 Mar 2009 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 19,625 times.

Categories: Notables | Food History | Massachusetts Inventors.

Ruth (Graves) Wakefield is notable.
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Ruth Graves Wakefield, born 17 June 1903, in East Walpole, Massachusetts, to Fred Graves and Helen Jones, was the inventor of the chocolate chip cookie.

In 1924, Ruth received her schooling at the Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts. She went on to work as a dietician and gave lectures about food. In 1930, she and husband Kenneth Donald Wakefield purchased a tourist lodge in Whitman, Massachusetts. The inn, located halfway between New Bedford and Boston, was a place where historically passengers would pay a toll, change horses and eat home-cooked meals.

Ruth and Kenneth named the place The Toll House Inn. Ruth cooked and served all the food and soon gained local fame and popularity for her desserts. Among the many visitors to frequent the Toll House Inn was then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy.

Wakefield invented the chocolate chip cookie around 1938 and it soon become very popular. She stated she created it intentionally, saying, "We had been serving a thin butterscotch nut cookie with ice cream. Everybody seemed to love it, but I was trying to give them something different. So I came up with Toll House cookie."

Ruth eventually gave Nestlé the right to use her cookie recipe and the Toll House name for one dollar. Nestlé then began selling chocolate chips designed specifically to be used in chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate chip cookie became the most popular variety of cookie in America.

Her Children: Kenneth D. Wakefield Jr. born 1928 and died May 31, 1993. Also a daughter.

The Toll House Inn in Mass. burned in 1984.


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No known carriers of Ruth's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 2
Wakefield's Toll House Cookies
Wakefield's Toll House Cookies

Ruth Wakefield Image 2
Ruth Wakefield Image 2


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