Waiting And Dining Out In The 1920s

 

“To the management, on the other hand, the vital issue was all this broken glassware… The head-waiter, swooping down on the fray like some god in the Iliad descending from a cloud, was endeavouring to place this point of view before Ronnie. Assisting him with word and gesture were two inferior waiters – Waiter A and Waiter B.

“Ronnie was in no mood for abstract debate. He hit the head-waiter in the abdomen, Waiter A in the ribs, and was just about to dispose of Waiter B, when his activities were hampered by the sudden arrival of reinforcements. From all parts of the room other waiters had assembled – to name but a few, Waiters C, D, E, F, G, and H – and he found himself hard pressed.” – PG Wodehouse, Fish Preferred (1929)

 

1st June 1903: A huge crowd lining Park Lane in central London watch waitress Annie Granger on her way to winning the Waitresses Walking Race from the City to the West End on Whit Monday. The race between the British Tea Table Co and Pearce and Plenty, covered a route of four miles and was won in 47 minutes. London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

1st June 1903: A huge crowd lining Park Lane in central London watch waitress Annie Granger on her way to winning the Waitresses Walking Race from the City to the West End on Whit Monday. The race between the British Tea Table Co and Pearce and Plenty, covered a route of four miles and was won in 47 minutes. London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

 

October 1918: A table is laden with cakes and the staff are ready to serve at the graduation ceremony for women students at King's College Medical School. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

October 1918: A table is laden with cakes and the staff are ready to serve at the graduation ceremony for women students at King’s College Medical School. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

 

July 1919: Waitresses at the Lyons Club annual sports meeting at Sudbury Hill (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

July 1919: Waitresses at the Lyons Club annual sports meeting at Sudbury Hill (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

 

A waitress stands in the middle of the counters during lunch time at the Exchange Buffet in New York City in the 1920's. (Photo by Keystone View/FPG/Getty Images)

A waitress stands in the middle of the counters during lunch time at the Exchange Buffet in New York City in the 1920’s. (Photo by Keystone View/FPG/Getty Images)

 

circa 1920: A line of waiters carrying bottles of champagne in coolers fall up a flight of stairs. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1920: A line of waiters carrying bottles of champagne in coolers fall up a flight of stairs. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

circa 1921: Children at lunch in a canteen in Epping Forest. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

circa 1921: Children at lunch in a canteen in Epping Forest. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

 

February 1922: Super servants in the making at Edmondton. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

February 1922: Super servants in the making at Edmondton. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

 

March 1922: A waiter presents a tray with a batch of plovers eggs. Hunting the plover and its eggs is now illegal and all birds sold for food are now farm-raised. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

March 1922: A waiter presents a tray with a batch of plovers eggs. Hunting the plover and its eggs is now illegal and all birds sold for food are now farm-raised. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

 

circa 1925: Two German waiters on a walk from Berlin to an international congress in Geneva. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

circa 1925: Two German waiters on a walk from Berlin to an international congress in Geneva. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

 

th September 1925: A waitress trying on a pair of the latest shoes at the International Shoe and Leather Fair, London. (Photo by Kirby/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

5th September 1925: A waitress trying on a pair of the latest shoes at the International Shoe and Leather Fair, London. (Photo by Kirby/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

 

A junior chef explaining the 'Black Bottom' dance steps to the waitresses, called nippies, in the rest room of the Lyon's Corner House. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

A junior chef explaining the ‘Black Bottom’ dance steps to the waitresses, called nippies, in the rest room of the Lyon’s Corner House. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

 

A waitress serves two ladies at a lunch room in Harlem, New York. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

A waitress serves two ladies at a lunch room in Harlem, New York. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

 

circa 1925: Evening wear is modelled at a restaurant in Berlin. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

circa 1925: Evening wear is modelled at a restaurant in Berlin. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

 

circa 1925: The Champs Elysees Lido in Paris. (Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)

circa 1925: The Champs Elysees Lido in Paris. (Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)

 

23rd February 1927: The staff at Dartmouth House with the buffet before a ball to celebrate the English Speaking Union. (Photo by G. Adams/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

23rd February 1927: The staff at Dartmouth House with the buffet before a ball to celebrate the English Speaking Union. (Photo by G. Adams/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

 

1930: Streamers and champagne for revellers at a New Year's party. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

1930: Streamers and champagne for revellers at a New Year’s party. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)