The Blackstone, Chicago 1916
Women were protesting for the right to vote on the streets of Chicago when this 1916 menu was offered to patrons of the restaurant in the Blackstone Hotel, a Windy City landmark.
During this era in the United States, hotel restaurants were considered fashionable and exclusive places for the wealthy and powerful to eat and were often designed, as writer Theodore Dreiser noted dryly, with many “fake European touches.”
As you can see from the enormous food offering, every taste was catered for. There was Russian caviar, prime ribs of beef and even two types of oranges to choose from. A customer could request oranges from either California or Florida, sliced and fanned out into flower shapes on the plate.
Illustrated menus were still quite unusual in the early 20th century so this single page menu with the golden crest of the hotel embossed on the top left hand side was typical of the time.
The menu, which has a variety of different fonts, would have been printed locally.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.
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