TO SUPPLY FREE LUNCH
(Excerpt transcribed from The Columbia Breeze, Columbia, Alabama August 25, 1892)
“Paris,” said a gentleman a few days ago, “is famous all over the world for the variety and nature of the odd enterprises by means of which its citizens gain a livelihood.
“I will venture to say, however,” added, “that there is one calling in New York that is peculiar to itself and to the city and has no duplicate in Paris.”
“And what is that?” asked the friend to whom he was speaking.
“A company organized to supply free lunch to saloons,” was the reply.
Then the man went on to tell of the existence of a firm that makes a specialty of cooking huge rounds of corned beef, ham, baked beans, chowder, minute fishballs and other viands peculiar to a free lunch counter.
“These,” he said “are carried to customers in delivery wagons, and if they need heating that is done on the premises.”
His friend replied that he had often noticed the similarity of the various “layouts” in the city, but he said, :Why do you say that it is an industry peculiar to New York and that it does not exist in Paris?”
“For the simple reason,” answered the other, “that there are no free lunches in Paris. It is strictly an American custom. Rest assured but for that fact Paris, too would have its “free lunch supply company.” (New York Hearld)