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Power Lunch: 1909

Power Lunch: 1909

New York, Sept. 22, 1909. "Luncheon by Aero Club of America at Lawyers Club honoring Glenn Curtiss." 8x10 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.


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Above and beyond

That ceiling is over the top wonderful, just imagine the 3 large circles with little lights lit up with candle light dinning in the evening... ~wishful sigh~ Their are some nice looking men in this group, and I see the bald head was in vogue then also.


I've never seen so many ego's egos packed in one room before. Its It's kind of frightening.

Just before Curtiss's humiliation....

Just a couple of weeks after this was taken, Wilbur Wright neatly upstaged Curtiss at the Hudson-Fulton Celebration in New York. Curtiss couldn't fly in the windy harbor. Wilbur took off from Governor's Island and circled the Statue of Liberty; and in a second flight flew the length of Manhattan and back

Man of the Hour

Glenn Curtiss was just back from the first International Aviation Cup meet in Rheims, France (Aug. 22-29, 1909). His eight-cylinder biplane, the "Golden Flyer," won the Gordon Bennett Cup speed race against Europe's top aviators, with a blinding average speed of 46 mph.

So, where's Glenn?

I believe that's the famed aviator sitting directly under the left-hand column of what I presume to be the fireplace.

Lighten up, guys!

Geez, you'd have thought this was an insurance seminar conducted by Ben Stein (Buehler? Buehler?). Surely an Aero Club would be more lively than this!

Gilded Age Lawyers

In my previous comment, I might have remembered to mention that the Lawyer's Club occupied the fifth and sixth floors of the Equitable Building, hence the other image and Shorpy link. The club's truly palatial digs opened in 1887, and several more photos of their luxurious reading room and other facilities can be found on Google Images. The elevator shaft that destroyed the building was the one that housed the Lawyer's Club's dumbwaiters, and their portion of the building was the first to burn.

Gilded Age Architecture

As an architectural preservation consultant, I quickly noticed that the Aero Club's pennant was callously tacked up right through the oil painting over the fireplace, a common hazard to artwork in banquet halls. Here is the mural, painted in 1895 by Edwin Howland Blashfield (1848-1936).

Designed by Gilman & Kendall and G.B Post, the seven-story Equitable Building was completed in 1870. Located at 120 Broadway, it was one of the grandest of New York's Gilded Age buildings and was the first New York office building equipped with elevators. In January 1912, one of those shafts acted as a fire duct, and the building was completely destroyed by fire.

It's what you don't see

In this sea of tables what struck me is what was missing. Not a single cigar, pipe or cigarette. Not a puff of smoke in the entire crowd.

The Menu

Those are olives, I imagine, in the fluted dish, and a roll (with a shiny hard crust) on each plate. But what are the rectangular objects, on the little silver trays, next to each plate?

And what a load of silverware! Each diner has enough hardware to perform a splenecomy.

[Looks liverwursty, possibly pate-ish. The top one looks nibbled on. - Dave]

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