And in our “the Internet is completely lovely” department, we have the Transportation Library Menu Collection, an online collection that contains over 375 menus from 54 national and international airline carriers, cruise ships, and railroad companies. It’s available at http://www.library.northwestern.edu/transportation/digital-collections/menus/ .
There is a keyword search I found it all but impossible to use; it’s searching collections en masse, it appears. There’s also a list of carriers that I much preferred. I chose Western Airlines, which had three menus (from 1966 and 1970) available. I chose the one from 1966. (I’d love the ability to browse/search by date; I hope I didn’t just miss the search engine.)
The menus are presented as page images. Ooo, a fiesta cart! A variety of alcoholic beverages were available for your enjoyment along with steaklike things, piqued green beans — sorry, piquant green beans — a fruit and cheese basket, and coffee. The 1970s ones are a bit more daring (Tahitian lambchop?) with a design that just screams macrame, hand-lettering, and unrepentant use of the word groovy.
Pop culture, history, and the romance of flying before it became such a commodity make this a wonderful browse. Some of these menus are very extensive, like one Trans World menu I saw from 1975. A tart on that menu is described as having “a hint of kirsch.” Who knew that over thirty years later we’d see a hint of kitsch as well?