If you are feeling diner's remorse today, rest assured that whatever you ate at your Thanksgiving dinner can't hold a candle to the quantity that prosperous New Yorkers consumed for Thanksgiving in November, 1900.
This is a menu for the holiday dinner from the Park Avenue Hotel, New York. I hope you'll click on the image and enlarge to read the staggering variety of offerings. The traditional turkey is almost lost amidst the two kinds of oysters, suckling pig, larded tenderloin of beef, boiled Kennebec salmon, sweetbreads with trifles, saddle of lamb, potted quail....
Left: Thanksgiving Day Dinner [held by] Park Avenue Hotel, New York, NY, November, 1900. From the Rare Books Division, New York Public Library.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.