Not by Bread Alone: America's Culinary Heritage


Oscar of the Waldorf
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Oscar Tschirky (1866-1943), known throughout the world as Oscar of the Waldorf, worked as maitre d'hotel of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City from 1893 to 1943.

While at the Waldorf, he began a lifelong hobby of collecting menus, some of which were from functions he himself arranged at the hotel. Upon his death, Oscar Tschirky’s menu collection, papers, and personal memorabilia were donated to Cornell University. The Library of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration continues to add to the collection, which today numbers more than 10,000 menus from across the country and the world.

Oscar Tschirky’s menu collection provides a fascinating window on America’s dining habits from the 1850s to the present.

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Karl Schriftgiesser. Oscar of the Waldorf. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1943.
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early cookbooks
american taste
the elegant table
temperance and prohibition
food nutrition and science
corpulency, leanes, and dietary reform
kitchen technology
food processing and manufacture


Cornell University Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections Cornell University Library

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