Salad Fork, SS United States

Description
Used by passengers traveling aboard the ocean liner SS United States, this silverplate salad fork was manufactured for the United States Lines by the International Silver Co., a Connecticut company formed in 1898. The Manhattan pattern features a detailed fan design on the handle, a popular pattern in the early 1950s, which is also when the United States began its transatlantic service. The phrase “U.S. Lines 52” is engraved on the back of the handle.
A survey of SS United States menus from the 1950s reveals a limited range of salads, many of them familiar standards such as heart of lettuce, sliced tomato, cole slaw, beet salad, and chef’s salad. A few offerings—chicory, watercress, or Belgian endive—may have seemed exotic to American travelers of the 1950s. The dressings available for most salads included the familiar French, Thousand Island, Lemon, and Garlic, with an occasional “California,” Roquefort, or simply “Special,” on the side.
The SS United States was the largest and fastest passenger liner ever built in the United States. Launched in 1952, it was billed as the most modern and luxurious ship in service on the North Atlantic. The ship had 695 staterooms located on eight of the liner’s 12 decks. It could accommodate 1,972 passengers in first, cabin, or tourist class. Three separate dining rooms served passengers traveling in each class. Some 1,011 crew were required to run the ship and serve the passengers.
Object Name
fork, dessert
fork, salad
Date made
1950s
maker
International Silver Company
Physical Description
silver (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 6 5/8 in x 1 in; 16.8275 cm x 2.54 cm
ID Number
TR*336767.119
catalog number
336767.119
accession number
1978.2219
subject
Fishing
related event
Postwar United States
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Food
Transportation
Exhibition
On the Water
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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