Martin Bros. Breakfast Menu, New Orleans, 1940s
Bennie and Clovis Martin were ex-streetcar conductors who opened a hole-in-the-wall coffee stand in New Orleans' French Quarter in 1922. According to many accounts, it was the Martin brothers who created the world famous po' boy sandwich (originally known as a "poor boy" sandwich) to support striking streetcar drivers and conductors in 1929. As part of their pledge, they gave sandwiches to the strikers. Bennie Martin was quoted as saying "We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended. Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say 'Here comes another poor boy.'" Bennie and Clovis split the business in the late 1930s, with Bennie keeping the landmark St. Claude location, and Clovis opening other Martin Bros. restaurants around New Orleans.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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