31 October 2020

Dine-Out Thanksgiving - 1930s, 40s, and 50s

Are you preparing the feast at home this Thanksgiving? How quaint! The modern family leaves the brining and basting to the professionals - or at least you might think so after taking a look at these area newspaper ads from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and beyond.

1930s newspaper advertisements

In the 1930s a full Thanksgiving dinner could be had at even the classiest establishments such as the Park Hotel for just $1.50. The best bargain didn't even entail leaving town, as the Three Towers offered a De Luxe Turkey Dinner for only a buck!

1940s newspaper advertisements

I love the graphics in the above ads from the 1940s - how can you go wrong with turkeys and pilgrims? Plainfield's Park Hotel ad from 1943 includes a family member possibly on leave from their military service - a female no less - enjoying Thanksgiving. The best places had raised their prices to $2 or more, but it was still possible to get a $1 dinner at the Brick House on Route 29 (today's Route 202).

1950s newspaper advertisements

I'll have to admit I never thought of Howard Johnson's for Thanksgiving - but in 1958, why not? The Town and Country Inn (the former Three Towers) offered a BYOT - Bring Your Own Turkey - service, but if you wanted to carve, please be sure to bring your own knives too! By the end of the decade, many restaurants had stopped advertising their prices - but the popular Somerville Inn was proud to boast of their $2.25 dinner in 1958 (kids half price).

I cheated on two of the ads above - the Amwell Farms Inn ad is from 1967 and Duke's Farm Inn (the former Town and Country) is from 1971. Still a pretty good bargain at $4.95!

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