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Menus, as we know them, are believed to date back to the 1100s in China, but they started becoming more commonplace worldwide during the mid-1800s. Let’s examine some of the menus from the Gladys Harrington Scrapbooks and the Plano High School football banquets for this month’s #ArchivesHashtagParty about the #ArchivesMenu. 

High School Banquets

Banquets are an annual tradition for many high school groups and clubs, especially sports teams. Our online archive, Collin County Images, has programs from some of Plano High School’s football banquets during the 1960s. The menus feature a fairly traditional meal of steak, potatoes, veggies and pecan pie; however, the shapes of the programs make them a unique addition to the collection. 

Gladys Harrington’s Travel Menus

In addition to being instrumental in the creation of the Plano Public Library, Gladys Harrington was also a voracious traveler. She kept scrapbooks of her travels, particularly those with a group who would visit farms and factories across North America annually via train. The menus from these trips show some of the places she visited, along with regional dishes from the time period. Since these menus come from the 1950s, it is interesting to compare what was popular to eat then to today. Dishes such as fried chicken or chopped beef are still found on lots of menus today; however, dishes such as jellied consommé or liver, or beverages such as Postum or Sanka have fallen out of fashion and aren’t served as often anymore.  

1954, Glacier Park Hotel

Glacier National Park, Montana

Note: handwritten note next to Raspberry Shortcake says “Delicious!”

1953, The Fort Garry Hotel

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Curious about other menus? Search “menu” in Collin County Images and browse the collection! Be sure to explore our other Genealogy blog posts here on Plano Library Learns.

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