This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons corn sirup or 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Put the sugar, corn sirup and water in a saucepan and heat slowly. Do not let it begin to boil until the sugar is dissolved. Wash down the sides of the pan with a fork wrapped in a damp cloth or else cover and cook for two or three minutes so that the steam will carry down the crystals that have been thrown on the side of the pan. Remove the cover and continue to boil slowly without stirring to the soft-ball stage (238° F.). While cooking, keep the cover on part of the time so the steam can help to keep the crystals washed down.
Remove from the fire and pour at once on large platters or slabs which have been dipped into cold water, and let it stand until it is lukewarm. Stir with a spatula or a fork till it is creamy; then knead with the hands until it is smooth and free from lumps.
Fondant is better if allowed to ripen for several days before being used. It may be wrapped in waxed paper and put into a tightly covered jar. When it is to be used for centers of dipped bonbons the centers should be shaped by hand or in molds and allowed to stand in the air until the surface loses all stickiness. Then the shapes may be dipped into the coating.