Rocky Ford Cafe, circa 1920 USA
In 1914, Henry Ford made cars affordable to a large sector of the American public by introducing the assembly line built Model T for the sum of $490. Car ownership rose sharply. By 1920, there were eight million registered drivers and by the end of the 20s the number had grown to 23 million.
In a country as big as America, the introduction of the automobile transformed everyday life and this marvelous menu from the Rocky Ford Cafe is a celebration of the four-wheeled marvel, written with delightful humor. Puncture Proof Steak and Transmission Gravy, anyone? Or how about some Radiator Coffee and Tin Lizzie Milk? Tin Lizzie was the nickname for the Model T.
We don’t have a date or location for this menu but we think it is dated a few years after the introduction of the Model T. It refers to a “bill of fare” rather than a menu and the lady standing at the car is wearing a long skirt, which would have been the fashion at the time. This diner sign probably came from Montana or Colorado.
This is a wonderful piece of Americana which has been restored although we have deliberately left some signs of ageing, which we think adds to its character.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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