Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Siegel-Cooper Afternoon Tea Menu from 1906

I read something recently about the New York Public Library, and that reminded me that I'd been meaning to explore some of the old tea menus in their digital collection that's now available online. Siegel-Cooper in New York is a store I'm not familiar with, but looking at one of their 1906 menus certainly makes me want to know more. I learned that the store opened in 1887 and closed in just 1917 after merging with B. Altman. It served as a military hospital during WWI, and the building was later renovated for new retail use. Today it's the home of Bed, Bath & Beyond, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, which is sort of a nice footnote to one of the old department stores.

I found it curious that on Oct. 12, 1906, all the specials featured oysters: oyster sandwich, oyster stew, oyster pie, and oyster fry.

I love all the pie choices (everything from apple to rhubarb), the pastry and dessert choices (lady fingers and napoleans always seem like a good idea), and I was especially impressed by the "fragrant teas" on offer.

This scan is not the clearest, but as you can probably make out, the "fragrant teas" included Young Hyson, English Breakfast, Formosa Oolong, Basket Fired Japan, India, and Ceylon. For some reason, I'm surprised that so many teas were available in 1906. Are you? At any rate, wouldn't it have been nice to dine there and enjoy a ten-cent pot of tea!


  1. I'll have a slice of huckleberry pie and a sarsparilla please! Here's my dime! Thanks for sharing this Angela.

  2. I would love to have tea there!

  3. Yes, I was surprised too. I would have thought maybe only one black tea available.

  4. What an interesting menu! Yes, wish I could have afternoon tea there. Thanks!

  5. I love these old tea menus! Thanks so much for sharing.


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