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Menu Cards

Menu cards, especially those from the more important meals, were often kept by passengers as souvenirs of their voyage. In the early days the Atlantic Transport Line used simple cards with rounded corners. These were pre-printed with the company flag and the name of the steamer, and cards of a smaller size were used for luncheon menus. In the earlier days of the service, when passenger numbers were low, the menu cards were often hand written, but as the business grew a printer was added to the crew and printed menu cards became the norm. In the early 1900s menu cards became more elaborate, consisting of a folded card with an image on the front and perhaps an abstract of the ship's log inside with the menu itself. In later years one page of the menu card for a Dinner au Revoir might be left deliberately blank for the autographs of fellow passengers. In the 1920s the Atlantic Transport Line issued menu cards with a series of views of picturesque London for first class passengers to collect.


A luncheon menu dated August 2, 1908 and a dinner menu on larger card stock from August 10, 1902, both from the Minnehaha (Kinghorn)

A dinner menu card with abstract of log from the Minnetonka, November 19, 1904 (Kinghorn)
A dinner menu card with abstract of log from the Minnetonka, November 19, 1904 (Kinghorn)
Click for PDF file (3,687 KB)

Autographed menu for Dinner Au Revoir held at the end of the Minnehaha's voyage on August 5, 1912 (Kinghorn)
Autographed menu for Dinner Au Revoir held at the end of the Minnehaha's voyage on August 5, 1912 (Kinghorn)
Click for PDF file (1,040 KB)

A Thanksgiving Day dinner menu card with abstract of log from the Minnetonka, November 30, 1911 (Kinghorn)
A Thanksgiving Day dinner menu card with abstract of log from the Minnetonka, November 30, 1911 (Kinghorn)
Click for PDF file (2,990 KB)

Dinner menu for August 20, 1929 (Minnewaska (IV) (Ian Newson)Breakfast menu for Wednesday, May 14, 1930 (Kinghorn)
Breakfast menu for Wednesday, May 14, 1930 (Kinghorn)A breakfast menu from December 13, 1930. Minnewaska (IV) (Kinghorn)


Menu card covers from the Picturesque London series used on first-class ships in the 1920s (Kinghorn, Newson)
Click seect images for for PDF documents

Breakfast menu from the Minnekahda (II) dated September 7, 1930 ( Kinghorn)Lunch menu from the Minnekahda (II) dated  August 12, 1926 (Kinghorn)Dinner menu from the Minnekahda (II) dated September 7, 1930 (Kinghorn)
Tourist Third Class passengers enjoyed simpler menu cards and much plainer fare. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus
from the Minnekahda (II) dated respectively September 7, 1930, August 12, 1926 and September 7, 1930. (all Kinghorn)
Click images for larger view

Dinner A Revoir menu for September 29, 1929 (Kinghorn)
Dinner A Revoir menu for September 29, 1929 (Kinghorn)
Click for PDf file (2,181 KB)

Autographs on the back leaf of a Dinner Au Revoir menu card dated August 10, 1929 (Kinghorn)
Autographs on the back leaf of a Dinner Au Revoir menu card dated August 10, 1929 (Kinghorn)
Click for PDf file (2,109 KB)

 

For more information ...

Kinghorn "The Atlantic Transport Line 1881 - 1931" McFarland, 2011

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