Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ephemera, Kramer's, Pittsburgh. Who Is This H.E. Wilson?

The Crash was 1929.
Ask from the Menu: Who was broke in 1928. 

Menu and Insert
Kramer's Restaurant, Pittsburgh

Kramer's Restaurant, Pittsburgh in the Old Days. Oriental theme insert, individually done, not mass-produced. Seating capacity: 425.  With 91 purveyors about. And 31 waiters and 8 chefs. Graeme Street.  Segregations of many kinds, but part of the times, taken for granted. This was a "public" restaurant, but no member of the "public" was ever seen eating there. is that so?  

Kramer's in 1928 - what does it mean to be rich but broke.  Ephemera before the Crash, see ://

 Both broke, says the menu, so the poor lass with the babe gets nothing -- broke for him means he carries no cash. Is that it?

This was during Prohibition, beginning in 1919 and that ended December 1933. What did they imbibe? Kramer's and Prohibition"  read the menu - creme de menthe frappe for dessert. Other offerings sub rosa or in flaskibus? Lawbreakers in the privileged classes, or was there a threshold for the "proof" allowed?

Kramer's, the Round Table Fellows at their dinner. Perhaps those Fellows were a precursor to the Duquesne Club Round Table?  Wednesday luncheon weekly, as we recall....

H.E. Wilson was a customer who, a few years later when Prohibition was repealed, in 1933, downed the first legal drink and it was at Kramer's.  He had a martini as the gang cheered.  Kramer's gets the credit, despite the Pittsburgh Athletic Association;s efforts at claiming the honor, but it was Kramer's that had the phone line set up to establish their claim. Bootleggers stayed in business, selling stuff cheaper, but more fun is the gent who wanted the record for downing the last of the rotgut.  Instead, he was passed some good stuff and he spat it right out. Just not the same. See Eyewitness 1933 Pittsburgh, "1933 Pittsburgh Prohibition Ends with a Betrayal at ://www,  Post Gazette. We always got the Pittsburgh Press -- but at least these archivists are keeping history alive.  Who would be first to get down The Drink - and the one turned out to have been betrayed. A bonded, not hootch.

Trivia:  H. E. Wilson.  His wife, Carrie C. Wilson, owned some Pittsburgh property and years later, after this conveyance and that, some not recorded, oral lease (upheld), terms in issue for payments, etc.,  there was a lawsuit about ejecting somebody, see 112 A. 233 (1920), see://

Pittsburgh. Kramer's was known.  Deserves the record. See ://,524241/

Pass the little white gloves, and look discreetly around as the chair is pulled back for the seating; whose teenage son might be home for holidays from school and enjoying lunch with grandmother.This was a public setting, not like the private clubs, but a regular for day-to-day socializing, shopping, all that.

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