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Indy Eats!

Submitted by on January 11, 2010 – 5:15 pmNo Comment

Stokely Van Camp's GatoradeRoad Trips Foodies cruising along any of the interstates that go through Indianapolis (I-65, I-69, I-70, I-74) should plan to make a stop downtown at the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, 40 East St. Clair Street, Indianapolis. Indy Eats! displays several collections from the Indiana Special Collections Room, all describing Indy’s food history.

Over the years the city has been the home to a number of noteworthy restaurants and famous edibles. This love affair with food extends to the home kitchen as well. Historic cookbooks give us an idea of what Hoosiers were preparing for their own dining room tables years ago.

One of the collections in the exhibit is the Rumpf Menu Collection. Arthur Rumpf, a native Hoosier, spent most of his career as a wholesale grocer in the Midwest. In 1919, Rumpf began collecting menus and wine cards. The collection grew, and over the rest of his life he donated 30,000 menus to public libraries all over the United States. A generous donation from Rumpf became the core of the ISCR menu collection.

Another collection of note is the Wright Marble Cookbook Collection. While serving as a steward at such historic Indianapolis institutions as the Bates House and the Denison Hotel, Wright Marble began assembling a considerable personal collection of cookbooks. Many of the items in his collection from both ancient and modern writers in a variety of languages were donated to the Library in 1923.

Indy Eats! also features information on food products with Indianapolis ties, such as Taggart Bakery’s Wonder Bread and Stokely-Van Kamp’s Gatorade (pictured, above, left). On display will be pictures and menus from historic local restaurants like the Rathskeller and Burger Chef. The exhibit also includes items from the ISCR’s World War I poster collection, which illustrate the role that food drives and rationing played during that time.

Check out the video on the exhibit here.

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