Our Ancestor’s Menu – Please !

There are collections of all types of items – just about any time period and any location. This includes menus. Yes, the card stock folder, the sheet of paper or the booklet – many different type of food menus used by airlines and cruise ships. This online collection from Northwestern University Library has about 400 menus from across the United States and overseas. The dates run from the 1920s to current times.

Some of the airlines included (back when food was freely served to airline passengers) are American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Malaysian Airlines, Pan American World, Western Airlines and others. Ships include Cunard and German Bremen.

Viewing these menus are not just a listing of food selections, but also the fine care of designs placed on the covers. This was especially true for the cruise lines and their menus, many examples of fine art work.

You can use the general search at the upper left or make a selection of a carrier at the + sign. A selection of menus will appear showing the destinations and date. There are a few older ones from the 1920s to 1940s, but most are during the 1950s to 1970s.

After you selected a menu, information is provided and a digital image. Click on the image and it can also be enlarged. The tools are at the top of each image. Many menus are very colorful.

These menus are almost non-existent today, but so great to look over to see what our ancestors had during their traveling experiences.

Photo: Cover of a Bremen Cruise ship menu for Nov. 11, 1929.

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