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Children's Dining Car Menus

March 1st, 2003

Like many other railroads, the New Haven began to offer special menus for children in its dining cars during the 1930s. The special children's meals were much less expensive than the Table de Hote (full meal) offerings on the regular dining car menus. Additionally, portion sizes were smaller than on the regular menu and the meals were specially selected to appeal to the less sophisticated tastes of children. Special children's menus seem to have gone out of favor on the New Haven during the late 1940s. All items from the collection of Marc Frattasio.

Three Bears Despite the fact that it is not marked with the railroad's name, this is a New Haven Railroad children's menu. It is likely that this was the first special children's menu distributed on the New Haven Railroad. This is a standard menu design that was used by a number of railroads during the mid to late 1930s when the children's menu concept was new. Note the illustrations from the "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" children's story.
The cardstock jigsaw puzzle at right, depicting a pivotal scene from the old children's story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" was distributed in a paper envelope marked "For One Of Our Little Guests", initially with the children's menu shown above and then later (apparently) with a special menu having the exact same artwork on its cover. Puzzle
I-5 Children's Menu This children's menu, in the shape of an I-5 class steam locomotive, was distributed in the dining cars when the streamlined Hudsons were first delivered to the railroad during 1937. This same menu cover cutout design was also used for placeholders at various New Haven executive dinners and other official functions held during the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Here is the inside of the children's menu shown above. The children's meals were much less expensive than the offerings on the regular menu and the selections were specifically oriented to appeal to children. Inside of I-5 Menu
Elephant Menu The New Haven used children's menus shaped like circus animals during the years leading up to the Second World War. Along with the elephant shown here, the New Haven is known to have used children's menus shaped like a hippopotamus and a giraffe. The railroad may also have used children's menus shaped like a lion, monkey, and tiger too but I have not seen them for myself.
This is the front cover of the style of children's menu distributed on New Haven dining cars during the mid to late 1940s. The design of this children's menu is intended to simulate the personal slate boards used for note-taking in elementary schools during the old days. Postwar Menu Front
Back Cover of 1940s Menu Here is the back cover of the children's menu shown above, which appropriately shows the back end of the passenger train depicted on its cover. This children's menu design was pictured in the "Fun on the Train" coloring books distributed on the New Haven's passenger trains for many years starting in December 1944. It would appear that this was the New Haven's last special children's menu as these types of menus were discontinued during the late 1940s.


February 2003: Sleeping Car Service

January 2003: Odds and Ends #6

December 2002: Old Saybrook China

November 2002: Platinum Blue China

October 2002: Grill Car China

September 2002: Diesel Builder's Plates

August 2002: Odds and Ends #5

July 2002: Odds and Ends #4

June 2002: Odds and Ends #3

May 2002: Odds and Ends #2

April 2002: New Haven R.R. Travel Bags

March 2002: Cost Saving Fare Promotions

February 2002: Odds and Ends #1

January 2002: Ladies' Day

December 2001: New Haven R.R. Locks

November 2001: The Streamlined Coaches

October 2001: The Comet

September 2001: Seashore Tours

August 2001: John Held, Jr. and the New Haven R.R.

July 2001: The East Wind

June 2001: The Rail-Auto Travel Plan

May 2001: Advertising Stickers

April 2001: Dietz Hand Lanterns

February 2001: Right of Way Signs

January 2001: Signal Lamps

December 2000: TDI Commuter Schedules

November 2000: To Florida on the New Haven Railroad!

October 2000: Local Schedules

September 2000: Train Service Cancellation Posters

August 2000: The New Haven Railroad Rail Charge Card

July 2000: Beverage Service!

June 2000: The Boat Race Trains

May 2000: Timetable Change Posters

April 2000: New Haven Railroad Station Signs

March 2000: The Key to New England

February 2000: Route 128 Station

January 2000: New Haven Railroad Cigarette Lighters

December 1999: The Dan'l Webster

November 1999: Postwar Travel Posters

October 1999: Modern Dining Car China

September 1999: New Haven Railroad Dining Car Service Pins

August 1999: New Haven Railroad Lapel Pins

July 1999: The 1939 New York World's Fair -- 60th Anniversary

June 1999: On-Train Ashtrays

April 1999: Matchbooks

March 1999: Pilgrim Tours

February 1999: Special Trains of the 1950s and 1960s

January 1999: Ticket Envelopes

December 1998: Holiday Advertising Material

November 1998: New York City Travel Advertising Material

October 1998: Boston Travel Advertising Material

September 1998: The Hurricane of 1938 -- 60th Anniversary

July 1998: The New Haven Goes Back to Cape Cod

June 1998: The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair

May 1998: Official Gifts of the McGinnis Era

April 1998: System Timetables

March 1998: Pre-War Advertising Brochures

February 1998: New Haven Railroad Freight Service Advertising from the 1950s and 1960s

January 1998: The Snow Trains

December 1997: Hotel Montclair Advertisement ca. 1939

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