Hudson River Night Line Cocktails, 1930s
IMAGINE how delightful it would be after a hard day’s work in New York City to sip a cocktail aboard the Night Line to Albany, the state capital, and watch the stars and the moon light up the scenic Hudson River?
This menu was for the bar aboard one of the steamboats that transported passengers overnight in the 1930s.
Steamboats began plying the Hudson River from the 1860s.
Initially, they were elegant vessels with individual staterooms, fine dining options and live entertainment provided by an orchestra. They were almost exclusively used by the wealthy who travelled with trunks of luggage to summer vacations in the Catskills or to the spa town of Saratoga.
As the decades passed, the steamboats became less lavish and more utilitarian and millions of people used the Day Line to go on vacation or for day trips.
There were fewer Night Line services and they were popular mostly with businessmen who did not want to miss daylight working hours.
In the early 20th century, however, the popularity of the service declined thanks to the effects of the Depression and the emergence of other transportation options such as the airplane.
The last Night Line from Manhattan to Albany made its roundtrip voyage in January 1941. ‘The Hudson River has lost its most famous institution,’ reported the Associated Press. ‘No longer will the line make its celebrated overnight run between New York City and Albany with as many as 2,000 passengers.’
The last Day Line service ended in the 1960s.
Thanks to scenichudson.org and the Hudson River Maritime Museum for this information.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.