Martini Olive Detail from Mark Twain Hotel, Hannibal MO, 1950s
This flirty olive with eyelashes, about to take a dip into a chilled martini, is a witty example of vintage menu art.
We found this great image in a 1950s menu for the Mark Twain Hotel in Hannibal, Missouri.
It was pasted inside, close to a section of the menu that offered complete dinners – from cocktail to dessert – for up to $3.10
Who could resist this olive gal? She’s a great example of mid-century modern art.
Samuel Clemens, otherwise known as the writer and adventurer Mark Twain, was born in 1835 and spent his childhood in Hannibal, Missouri. The author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was only four years old when he moved with his family to the bustling town on the Mississippi River and he stayed there till his late teens. The town inspired several of Twain’s fictional settings, including the town of St Petersburg, in his two classics of American literature.
Twain died in 1910 after a packed life that also included being a journalist, a licensed steamboat captain and a gold prospector.
The Mark Twain Hotel was an historic hotel building built in Renaissance Revival style in 1905 to cater to visitors to Hannibal, which included many Mark Twain fans. Thus, the hotel printed this 1950s menu, whose cover showed Mark Twain’s boyhood home. The menu includes WWII OPS pricing which ended in 1953.
The hotel closed but the building, registered as one of America’s historic places, still stands and is an apartment complex.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu or cover.