What’s on the menu: United Airlines, September 2, 1928

Quite a few posts here are going to be about food, featuring menus or recipes from the 1920s and early 1930s. Menus will usually be taken from the New York Public Library collection. It’s a really fun site to look at old menus from as far back as the 1850s.

I used to feature these menus on this blog when it was about the Victorian and Edwardian era, and the menus were from restaurants, hotels, trains, and ships, but his is the first time I’m featuring a menu from an airline. You might be surprised that commercial air travel was a thing in the 1920s. I was surprised to find this out myself, frankly. In-flight movies even existed!

United Airlines was founded in 1926 by Walter Varney originally as Varney Air Lines, and in the late 1920s it merged with other small airlines under the United Airlines name. You can read more about the history of United Airlines on their Wikipedia page.

Today when you can’t even get one of those small bags of peanuts in flights anymore, this is the meal you got if you were on United Airlines flight between New York and San Francisco on September 2, 1928:

Image courtesy of the New Public Library

I had to look up Baba au Rum… a boozy, whipped-creamy concoction that sounds wonderful, which I had never heard of before now. The most interesting thing about historical menus and recipes is how you discover foods and cooking methods that have gone by the wayside (sometimes for good reason, admittedly… for example, I’m glad we don’t usually boil meats anymore or eat organs).

Imagine eating mignon of veal on a flight today!

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