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100 years ago in Spokane: Hamburgers banned from Interstate Fair

“Hamburger sandwiches” would not be allowed in the grandstand at the interstate fair because their odor offended “society circles” the previous year. Vendors would be allowed to serve burgers in other parts of the fairgrounds, The Spokesman-Review reported on July 21, 1916. The newspaper also reported on a lawsuit from a business college student who lost his big toe in an elevator accident at the New Madison hotel. (The Spokesman-Review)
“Hamburger sandwiches” would not be allowed in the grandstand at the interstate fair because their odor offended “society circles” the previous year. Vendors would be allowed to serve burgers in other parts of the fairgrounds, The Spokesman-Review reported on July 21, 1916. The newspaper also reported on a lawsuit from a business college student who lost his big toe in an elevator accident at the New Madison hotel. (The Spokesman-Review)

From our archives, 100 years ago

A new culinary fad, the “hamburger sandwich,” was banned from the grandstand at Spokane’s Interstate Fair.

It had caused a sensation – of an unpleasant olfactory kind – at the previous year’s fair.

“The scent was wafted directly into the front row of boxes, and caused a profound sensation in society circles,” said the paper. “After two days the manufacture of hamburgers was discontinued by request.”

So this year, “a strict no-hamburger clause” was inserted in the contract for the grandstand concessionaire. The only legal sandwich contents in the grandstand would be frankfurters and ham-and-cheese.

Hamburgers would be allowed in other parts of the fairgrounds.

From the polio beat: Strict new rules were instituted in an attempt to keep infantile paralysis (polio) germs out of Washington.

The state health commissioner called for an inspection of all trains from New York and New Jersey.

“When a train with passengers from New York or New Jersey approaches Spokane, the conductor is to wire ahead, giving the names and the hour of arrival,” said the commissioner. “He is also to wire ahead if a person is sick on the train, no matter what the cause. Dr. Anderson (the city health inspector) is then to meet the train, examine the person, and if they are found to have no symptoms of infantile paralysis or other contagious disease, he is to permit them to pass.”


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