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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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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.

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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!

SHORPY OLD 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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