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Small Steaks: 1912

Small Steaks: 1912

Detroit circa 1912. "Dime Savings Bank, Woodward & Willis branch." As is often the case with these glass plates, a supporting player steals the scene: Jordan's Cafeteria, where the Small Steak is 20 cents. The friendly loan officers next door can help with that. Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


A little piece of me

I was conceived just half a block east of (and 46 years after) this scene.

Doesn't Surprise Me

The 20 cent small steak doesn't really surprise me, and it doesn't have to be a "hamburger steak sandwich" either. It isn't going to be a thick steak, and it will undoubtedly not be one of the best cuts of meat on the steer; in fact it'll probably be so tough that when you bite it it bites back. But consider that the Union Pacific was selling a choice of Roast Young Turkey w/ Cranberries, Suckling Pig w/ Baked Apples, Broiled Philadelphia Squab, or Broiled Teal Duck for 65 cents on the Overland Limited at Christmas 1913. Around the same time or maybe a few years later a Tenderloin or Sirloin Steak, cooked to order was 80 cents on the Santa Fe's Deluxe. So maybe 20 cents for a small steak isn't that out of line.

Vacant Lot...

Looks like a vacant lot, today. But, there's no need to go hungry. There's a McDonald's right next door.

Scented laundry?

I love the sign on the right bottom.

Scented Laundry

Gee, I wonder what your laundry will smell like!!

Ten cents worth

A dime is a pretty small stake, too.

I DO get it

That "small" steak is probably a chopped steak sandwich - think Hamburger.

Smoke Stack

Check out the brickwork detailing on the smoke stack in the background!


That 20 cent steak today would cost $4.42 (using the inflation calculator)

Steaks Proportionately

The term "Minute Steak" often confused with a sixty-second moment is not that. The "Minute Steak" is defined by the French adjective of the same word, meaning small, think 'minutely'.

I dont get it

A small steak is 20 cents, but ham and eggs are 25? That is either a microscopic steak or a huge plate ham and eggs!

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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