I hope everyone had a good week. I was so caught up in a few things that there was not much time to post here on the blog. Here is an interesting story that I knew nothing about until one of the TRB rangers posted it the other day. It is about a venture in which various Roosevelts opened a coffeeshop in Manhattan after the Great War. One thing that reading Geoffrey Ward’s Before the Trumpet reinforced for me is that to understand the Roosevelts you must know the relationships between the various cousins. There is a lot more to the story than the Big Three.
Coffee is a big part of the Theodore Roosevelt story. On tours I always tell of his drinking the dark brew as a toddler to alleviate his asthma. Many visitors also know that he coined the “good to the last drop” phrase that Maxwell House has been using ever since. I find the story of the coffeeshop intriguing in a few ways. First of all, they must have been inspired in part by their experience in Europe during the Great War. As the article states coffeeshops were not knew in the United States, but they were more for the new immigrants fresh from Ellis Island. In Europe they were/are ubiquitous. There is no way they could have missed that, especially Ethel being in Paris for much of the war as she was. Also, doughboys received coffee in their kits. How the Great War influenced material culture is something worth getting into during the centennial.
(image/Library of Congress)