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Collection Scope and Content Note

A collection of over 10,000 menus, providing evidence of the manners, mores, and food habits of earlier times.

Many menus include prints or half-tones of historic people and places. They may also include featured speakers, detail organizational leadership, and provide biographical sketches of the famous and infamous, including Theodore Roosevelt, Wilbur and Orville Wright, and Oscar Hammerstein. They may dramatize historical events, such as a "luncheon to the California Promotion Committee on the occasion of the resumption of the hotel business in the burned district after the earthquake and fire on 18 April 1906"; the opening of the first tunnels of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company under the Hudson River; and a dinner in honor of Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian patriot. Prohibition era menus indicated the availability of spirits to their clientele by tucking a small insert into the spine cord of the menu.

Also menus collected by Charles N. Pinco.

Also, menus collected by Ruth Wood Green from hotels and nightclubs in the 1940s.

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