Fred Harvey

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Frederick Henry Harvey (1835–1901), a restaurant entrepreneur, immigrated to New York City from England at age fifteen in 1850. He found work in restaurants there and in New Orleans, before moving to St. Louis, where he and a partner opened a restaurant in 1857. The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, combined with the dishonest behavior of Harvey's partner, left his business in ruins and him unemployed. He eventually found work as a railway mail clerk on the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad (1862), which later became part of the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q). There he experienced firsthand the often-squalid conditions and chicanery that greeted passengers on trains scheduled to stop “twenty minutes for refreshments” at designated stations, which was at that time the primary means of feeding people traveling long distances by rail.


From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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