Ham n' Egger, Chicago 1950s
The phrase ham n’ egger was first heard around 1918 as a term for an unskilled worker who earned so little money that he was barely able to buy a ham and egg breakfast. The label goes back to America’s mining camps which would hold boxing matches on public holidays. The winner got money and the loser got a ham and egg meal. Many miners with poor boxing skills were willing to be beaten up just to eat – these were called ham n’ eggers.
Ham n' eggers became slang for unskilled workers and many all-day breakfast diners also used the term, such as this one in Randolph Street, Chicago.
This inventive and charming menu for the Ham n’ Egger is crammed with funny images and jokes.
Open 24 hours day, it’s artwork would have made anyone smile. Liberally sprinkled with pig images ( including a pig with wings so pigs really do fly) the copywriter went to town, boasting that it was “Chicago’s foremost eating spot where stars of radio, stage and television meet to eat!”and making sure that every dish had a smart comment beside it.
There’s a similarity between this menu and the Ham n Egg corner restaurant menu in New York – so they could have been sister restaurants. Either way, it’s a really joyful example of vintage menu art.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Gallery quality Giclée print on natural white, matte, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. Custom printed with border for matting and framing.
All printed in USA.
Each product is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.