By 1915, Christ Church Neighborhood House ran a lunchroom for the growing ranks of women who worked in the neighborhood's businesses and shops. At a time when a woman's patronizing restaurants could be unpleasant or even dangerous, the lunchrooms of the 1910s and 1920s provided clean, safe spaces and affordable meals.
Articles of the day recommended that lunchroom menus stick to basics like "breads, pastries, cereals, a few sandwiches, boiled eggs and quickly made side dishes or entrees, as they are called on the restaurant cards."
The Christ Church lunchroom served meals at cost to more than 150 women per day. In addition, it allowed the purchase of "stamps, for vacations and emergencies".
Contributor: Carol Moore
Source: Christ Church Neighborhood House; How the Other Half Ate: A History of Working-Class Meals at the Turn of the Century by Katherine Leonard Turner (University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA), 2014.
To contribute a Factoid, send content, source and your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org