Provenance of Titanic menus


Jay Roches

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Apr 14, 2012
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Numerous Titanic menus survived the sinking. How were they saved, and by whom?

For example, a quick web search will find menus for First Class lunch and dinner, Second Class dinner and Third Class meals just for April 14, 1912.

Could we compile a full list of all the saved Titanic menus?
 

Harland Duzen

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Probably because they were typed up brand new every day to account for changes in what was available and the date, I think people were allowed to take them as souvenirs since they could't be re-used.
 

Doug Criner

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That newspaper article doesn't show a date or the name of the paper. How did Flynn know that it was the only menu in existence? But, whatever.

Without a scientific evaluation of the paper and printing of the menu, I would be suspect, particularly if someone is trying to sell it - and without a documented chain of how the menu followed up to the present.
 

Jay Roches

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The image was in the Encyclopedia Titanica Facebook group. It was posted Mike Poirier. (I couldn't edit the original post to give credit, so I'm using a separate post.)

I've just asked for the date of the article.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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That newspaper article doesn't show a date or the name of the paper. How did Flynn know that it was the only menu in existence? But, whatever.

Without a scientific evaluation of the paper and printing of the menu, I would be suspect, particularly if someone is trying to sell it - and without a documented chain of how the menu followed up to the present.
I got curious when I saw the word "photostatic". According to this link, word first used in 1919. Definition of PHOTOSTATIC
Also a quick search of Western Pennsylvania Restaurant Association says in was founded in 1937. Not that any of this proves anything one way or the other. He was probably just showing it later in life at a convention. He was on the Titanic so it seems reasonable to me that he would have the real thing. Plus he gave an account of his Titanic experience in 1935 to the Pittsburgh Press. Might be the same paper.
 
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Jay Roches

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Apr 14, 2012
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That newspaper article doesn't show a date or the name of the paper. How did Flynn know that it was the only menu in existence? But, whatever.

Without a scientific evaluation of the paper and printing of the menu, I would be suspect, particularly if someone is trying to sell it - and without a documented chain of how the menu followed up to the present.
I agree. If there's any misunderstanding (maybe I've misused the word "provenance"), I didn't intend this post to relate to buying or selling menus, as I know that is virtually certain that any menus being sold today are not original. An authentic menu would require a substantial amount of evidence as to its authenticity, especially considering the fact that one recently auctioned menu was expected to sell for $114,000 to $142,000. It's a Sotheby's item, not an eBay item.

Instead, I had in mind was a list of surviving menus and any information on how they were saved.

Also, yes, Flynn had no way of knowing if other menus survived, and quite a few do exist for other dates, other meals, and other classes. I don't doubt his story about how the menu was saved, however.

The 1st class dinner menu for April 14 probably came to the attention of researchers before the other menus. It appears in Ballard's "The Discovery of the Titanic" (1988, I think).
 

Jay Roches

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Apr 14, 2012
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The article was in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on January 12, 1938.

To any mods passing by: since the forum doesn't allow editing there are three separate posts, one for the article, one giving Mike Poirier credit for posting the image to Facebook, and this one that states the name of the newspaper and the date. I hope this is either ok as is or that you can combine the three posts together.
 

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