Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Antiques and Collectibles

This photo is a Balinese shadow puppet. I have a couple of small ones that I acquired in the mid-1970's when I lived in Singapore that I will be posting in the shop to sell soon. They are fabulous works of art, great decorative pieces and don't take up much room. I think that I even have the original box for atleast one of them.

At a recent sale I purchased some vintage books and tucked away inside were some ephemeral pieces from the old Fred Harvey House Restaurants. I have 2 original bookmarks and a piece that might have been letterhead, it shows a Harvey House Restaurant and has the Santa Fe RR logo.

If you aren't familiar with Fred Harvey, when he was only 15 years-old he came to New York from England. The time was the late 1800's. He began working in a restaurant but along came the Civil War and this hit the restaurants pretty hard but was a boom for the railroads. Mr. Harvey began working for the railroads and quickly climbed the ladder. He saw a need for drastic improvement in the food department.

Upon his arrival in Kansas in 1870, Mr. Harvey met Charlie Morse, President of the fledgling Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. For the next near century, Fred Harvey's company would bring good food at reasonable prices in clean, elegant restaurants, to the travelling public throughout the Southwest. They also brought civilizaton, community, and industry to the Wild West.

Mr. Harvey hired only young women to work in his restaurants, the Harvey Girls. They wore uniforms, he gave them a place to live and paid them relatively well for the time.

There were many ups and downs for the Fred Harvey Houses. Mr. Harvey died in 1901 and his sons took over the business. By the 1950's railroad travel had slowed, all the Harvey's had passed away and for all intents and purposes the company was defunct.

I believe that there is one Harvey House Restaurant still around that is in operation and here in Kansas City there is talk of redoing the old Harvey House space.

Anyway, be sure to check out all the new inventory coming into the shop. I have taken 2 wonderful consignments filled with many amazing items including vintage costume jewelry.


1 comment:

zingtrial said...

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