Reel News: Yesterday’s News Today—“Cyclone in a Restaurant”

1_Headline_Herald Democrat [Leadvile, CO]_November 15, 1895
Headline, Herald Democrat (Leadville), November 15, 1895. History Colorado microfilm newspaper collection and Colorado State Library, Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection (https://goo.gl/OZ7GgR)
“Sugar bowls, catsup bottles, vinegar cruets, mustard pots, pork and beans, odds and ends of uneaten pie, went flying through the air at Escher’s State street restaurant night before last, while the after-midnight diners ducked their heads under the tables to escape the cyclone of dishes and food.

Catsup shipping crate, National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center.
Catsup shipping crate, National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center.

“This reckless and unwarrantable waste of well-cooked and highly seasoned food may come up before his honor, Judge Greenfield, for judicial inspection at today’s tea table. The cause of this cycloramic food disturbance has not yet been located by the police. All that is known is that when one Thompson, who boasts of a collegiate education and who keeps his ‘larning’ well in evidence and reels off ponderous, euphonious adjectives into the ears of the State street dance hall girls to startle their beer-befuddled ears with the impressiveness and grandeur of Thompson’s grandiloquence.

View west down the famous State Street in Leadville, Colorado. The business district included gambling establishments, brothels, and other businesses. Photo by George D. Wakely, 1880–85. Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Department.
View west down the famous State Street in Leadville, Colorado. The business district included gambling establishments, brothels, and other businesses. Photo by George D. Wakely, 1880–85. Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Department.

“Four of the fuzzy damsels came into Escher’s restaurant and sat down at the same table as Thompson and began to sit down upon the euphonious adjective propounder. The verbose Thompson, to get rid of the pests, moved to a table at the other end of the room. Thompson says that one of the girls walked up to his table and without saying anything, expectorated into his cup of coffee, and that this breach of etiquette irated his temper to such extent that he resented the indignity by propelling castors and other articles near at hand through the air in the direction of the dance hall fairies.

“The question whether Mr. Thompson of college-bred fame hurled the catsup bottle, has not been cleared up, but it is known that he got a dab of it on the neck and his left ear was full of fiery, red, hotly-spiced catsup that would tempt any epicure.

Pork and beans shipping crate, National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Pork and beans shipping crate, National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

“Frank, the waiter, came near getting a sugar bowl in his ear, for it went whizzing by his head in close proximity to his auricular organ at a frightful velocity. The State street fuzzy-wuzzys stood up well under fire and didn’t seem to mind the banging of dishes about their heads as long as they could fire back. The cyclone was only brought under control by Frank, the waiter, wiping up the floor with the catsupy remains of Thompson, the man of college fame.”

Herald Democrat (Leadville), November 15, 1895

Picture of Ann holding a pitchfork.

Ann Sneesby-Koch
Project Manager, Colorado Digital Newspaper Project​