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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Baked Lunch: 1918

Baked Lunch: 1918

Washington circa 1918. "Food Administration cafeteria." The lima bean soup looks delicious. National Photo Co. Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Yum

I'll have the lettuce and mayonnaise salad please. Now that's a filling lunch.

Pin Money Gherkins

As usual, Stanton Square has unveiled some of the menu mysteries in this photo. I'm still curious about the "Pin Money Gherkins" listed low in the left-hand column on the menu board, just above what must be the Salted Peanuts in the 1918 Journal menu. Might "Pin Money" be another way of saying "Home-Made"?

["Pin money" is an expression meaning a trivial sum. It was also a brand of pickles and relishes. - Dave]

Save me a table!

This is where I'll stop for most of my meals when I'm out cruising around in my time machine. At last, a vegetarian-friendly eatery!

Put On Your Dancin' Shoes

There are some very attractive ladies in this shot. No wonder the stud in the white shoes stands there surveying his quarry. Some worthy prey in there for him.

Food Administration

President Wilson created the Food Administration during WWI and charged it with teaching Americans to conserve food and do more with less. The cafeteria, located at 18th and D streets N.W., was viewed as a working example of this patriotic thriftiness. Primary foodstuffs that Americans were asked to reduce consumption of were wheat, meat, and sugar. There is a short article in the 1918 Journal of Home Economics on the cafeteria which lists typical dishes served:

  1. Soups: Corn Chowder, Vegetable Soup, Turkish Soup, Creole Soup, Potato Soup.
  2. Main dishes: Potatoes au Gratin, Pinto Bean Loaf with Tomato Sauce, Spinach with Egg, Minute Rabbit, Baked Shad or Trout with Egg Sauce, Escalloped Tomatoes, Escalloped Corn.
  3. Salads: Cottage Cheese, Pineapple and Nut, Stuffed Egg,
    Potato and Celery, Fruit, Banana, Celery and Cabbage.
  4. Desserts: Ice Cream, Chocolate Tapioca, Maple- Nut Pudding with Whipped Cream, Pineapple "Pershing" (Bavarian) Cream, Fresh
    Strawberries, Apple Pie (Wheatless Crust).
  5. Beverages: Buttermilk, Sweet Milk, Coffee, Tea.
  6. Fruit: Apples, Bananas, Oranges.
  7. Extras: Orange Marmalade, Peaches, Pears, Strawberry Jam, Cheese, Spiced Pickles, Conservation Candy, Salted Peanuts.

Of this list, the most unfamiliar item to me is "Minute Rabbit." Fortunately, a 1918 copy of American Cookery on Google Books furnishes the recipe (a variation of Welsh Rarebit):

Minute Rabbit

Put 1 cup cheese cut into small pieces, 2 level tablespoons Minute Tapioca, pinch of salt and of pepper (or paprika) into one pint cold milk. Cook in chafing dish of doubleboiler until thick. Just before removing from fire, stir in one egg well beaten. One tablespoon mustard may be added if desired. Serve with toast or saltines.


I love this

I love the candid shots like this, where people are just kind of looking up at the camera. An entire life is in everyone of those eyes, all long gone. Amazing.

Kwik-Snak Menu

The menu board's choices seem very skimpy by today's standards, and perhaps reflects the short lunch breaks allowed workers at that time, usually no more than 30 minutes. Since this is the Food Administration's cafeteria, could some of the items be experiments? What about that "Wheatless Bread"? But the one entree that can now be found in all cafeterias across the known galaxy is missing here: the Flour-Tortilla Burrito.

[The wheatless, meatless nature of the menu is due to war in Europe. - Dave]

Holy Mackerel...

Only 10 cents and that includes egg sauce. These people would be heartsick if they could see the food that is wasted in cafeterias today. Those WW1 posters would be worth a lot of lettuce too. An excellent, informative picture, thank you.

Love the guys' shoes!

I'm noticing that men's vintage dress shoes have a subtly different shape, and I'm trying to figure out what the difference is. A higher arch, maybe? A slightly higher heel?

Food Fight

"Food Will Win The War, Don't Waste It!"

White shoes

I haven't seen so many white shoes in one place outside a golf tournament. The gent leaning on the railing looks especially stunning.

 
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