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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Sailors Platter: 1911

Sailors Platter: 1911

June 22, 1911. "Navy Yard, New York. U.S.S. North Dakota messmen being served from crew's galley." Three heaping helpings of something. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Roast Beef? Probably some sort.

I served from 1982-2008, retiring as a Chief Machinist's Mate. The Navy has many names for roasted beef. Roast Beef, Pot Roast, Yankee Pot Roast and Roast Chuck come readily to mind. We had roasted beef 3 or 4 times a week. This might be a version of it, but I don't see the potatoes (mashed or baked) that always accompanied the beef (the Navy is very big on starches).

As for the Chiefs and Offices, Chiefs are typically served the same menu as the Junior Enlisted. Their main perk is the Chiefs' Mess is separate and quieter, a lot of Ship's business is taken care of during meals. In most Messes the Chiefs chip in to buy "augmenting" foodstuffs that help make the meal more enjoyable. The Mess will often have something available to eat even outside of chow hours.

Officers have their own mess, the Wardroom, and pay for their own food (meals for Enlisted are free), and so have their own menu.

No wonder they call it "mess"

Gotta hand it to the Navy; what they lack in cooking skills they make up for in portions.

I'll have the brown stuff

and no asbestos from that big white pipe please.

I vote for ribs

I agree that the mystery meat looks like ribs, though what happened to them during the cooking process remains a mystery.
And kvenido, I know just what you mean about faces that fit OUR time.
I've noticed this in other pictures, a woman whose hair isn't marcelled or waved looks like someone you'd see on the street now, lost amid the old-fashioned people.
It's one of the fascinations of shorpy.

Whatever that matter on the platter is

It is not sushi.

The unspoken doctrine

If you don't like it today, get a second helping, lest you be served the same thing (possibly disguised) tomorrow.

They all look like roast beef to me.

Wonder what the chiefs and officers got for dinner.

A fine-looking lot of fellows, seriously.

Relatively carefree, as well. It was the beginning of a great adventure, sailing around the world, stopping in port cities, watching silents like "Sailor Jack's Reformation" on board ship with their messmates.

I wonder how many were still in the US Navy during the Great War.

Mess Cooks

Those guys are "Mess Cooks" Regular Sailors. Probably recently arrived on the ship without a specialty rating. It was their job to work in the galley at whatever chore the ships cook needed them for. Every Sailor in the Navy had mess cooking duty at one time or another in their career

Platter, not plate!

I am fairly sure those are platters of main course, not plates for individuals. Whatever it is... plop it in the middle of the table and watch them grab 'em off quick!

Naval Cuisine

According to my late father who was a WW2 sailor the only
dish they were served was generous amounts of SOS. This
mystery meat looks like an improvement.

Grub du jour

I'm thinking Fried Chicken on the front platter and BBQ (or some other sauce)Beef Short Ribs on the back two platters. I'm also betting that Fried Chicken would have looked a lot better up close and personal.. maybe being plated for 101 years has taken the edge off the bouquet!

Looks like little had changed yet

since the times of the wooden walls - the youngest member of each mess was the runner.

Even with those Clark Gable ears

The lad in the front is nice looking (it does seem to me that if a man doesn't sport a huge handlebar 'stache and/or other unusual facial hair of that time, he can definitely more easily fit into OUR time) But even as the young man is attractive, what he is holding for his meal is definitely NOT (burnt BBQ ribs?)

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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