Wednesday, June 20, 2012
St. Petersburg, Archangel & Vladivostok
One of the most intriguing aspects of ephemera is that it reveals unwitting historical evidence of long-forgotten events. For example, three scarce menus from around the time of the Russian Revolution reflect three groups that found themselves on the losing side of the conflict—Russia’s ill-fated bourgeoisie; western intelligence officers and members of the White Army; and the United States Army that was sent to fight against the “Red” Bolsheviks, the radical party led by political activist Vladimir Lenin.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
New York City,
When five members of a congressional subcommittee came to New York City in April 1880 to inspect the new factory of the Commercial Manufacturing Company, the firm rolled out the red carpet, hosting a dinner at Delmonico’s in honor of their visit. The menus, printed on satin of various colors, were typical for a grand banquet of the Gilded Age. What is unusual about the menu shown below is what it doesn’t say—golden blocks of margarine were placed on the table to accompany the meal. And even more, the low-cost butter substitute was reportedly used in the preparation of these classic French dishes.