Breakfast Bill of Fare
I’m really loving the archival menu collection from the NYPL and I really can’t get over the large breakfasts that seemed to be standard in the 1800s.
A little on the collection itself (from the NYPL website):
"The menu collection originated through the energetic efforts of Miss Frank E. Buttolph (1850-1924), a somewhat mysterious and passionate figure, whose mission in life was to collect menus. In 1899, she offered to donate her existing collection to the Library — and to keep collecting on the Library’s behalf. Presciently, director Dr. John Shaw Billings accepted her offer and for the next quarter century Miss Buttolph continued to add to the collection. Her principal method of acquisition was to write to every restaurant she could think of, soliciting menus. When letters failed, she often marched into a restaurant and pleaded her case in person. She also placed advertisements in trade publications like The Caterer and The Hotel Gazette, but just as often, published news of her collection prompted outright contributions of specimens from around the world. Three times between 1904 and 1909, The New York Times wrote about her and the collection, noting once that “she frankly avers that she does not care two pins for the food lists on her menus, but their historic interest means everything.” Miss Buttolph added to the collection of more than 25,000 menus until her death in 1924. The collection has continued to grow through additional gifts of graphic, gastronomic, topical or sociological interest, especially but not exclusively New York-related.”
Some things I am surprised about: steaks, pig’s feed, fish balls, a la mode beef. All the same, there was still the option to have eggs any style!
Daisie Miller Helyar’s scrapbook has been digitized as part of the ongoing Notable Women of Simmons digital scrapbook project, which offers access to unique historical artifacts documenting the lives of women who attended Simmons College.
Daisie’s scrapbook contains evidence of an intelligent, good-humored, and adventurous young woman who both seized the opportunity for a college education and took advantage of the many diversions of Boston, Massachusetts.
This is a really nice digital exhibit. Each item on a page has its own description.
I wonder if people a hundred years from now will be looking through tumblr accounts for a glimpse into this part of our lives.
Girls Had Three Options In the 19th Century
According to The Young Lady’s Guide women had three possible futures:
1.”Shall the girl return to the pickling and preserving, the herb-gathering and doctoring, the primitive housewifery and seamstresship of her great-grandmother.”
2. “Shall the Protestant girl borrow a lesson from Catholic humanity, and, while she abjures asceticism, enthusiasm, and unnatural vows, become a deaconess instead of a sister of charity…..”
3. Or, shall she discover her bent like a boy, pursue her profession fearlessly and innocently, achieve independence, and from her own lawful earnings endow and cheer her own dear home.”
Pickles may be in right now and charity is noble, but I am going to have to go with number three!