Saloon Culture Essay

1528 WordsMay 18, 20057 Pages
Saloon Culture Analytical Critique Writing Assignment HY 121 Spring 2005 Royal Melendy writes about a rising social culture taking place at the turn of the twentieth century. He depicts this culture as the ambiance emitted in early Chicago saloons. "Saloons served many roles for the working-class during this period of American history, and were labeled as the poor man's social clubs" (summary of saloon culture, pg. 76). Saloons were described as part of the neighborhood. An institution recognized and familiar to its people. Many laws restricted their services; however, they continued to exist. The article talks about two types of saloons. The first being the more upscale in downtown districts. These would close around midnight not…show more content…
They supplied beer, varieties of meats and vegetables in abundance as to out due restaurants and other brewing establishments, and to mark the minds of its patrons with picturesque buffet and remind them of what their own barren cupboards held. During this time competition between brewing companies was fierce and many were able to provide these services because "These companies own a very large number of the saloons in Chicago. Thus the cost of not only the beer, but the meat, bread, and vegetables, bought in vast quantities, is greatly reduced," (Melendy). Saloons also served as an employment function. In some neighborhoods saloons were instituted around specific labor practices. Some pubs boasted this in the very name of the institution. "The significance of these names is this: Men of the same trade, having common interests, make the saloon that represents their interests their rendezvous. To the "Stonecutters' Exchange," for example, men seeking stonecutters often apply" (Melendy). Many of those seeking employment in particular trades could depend on the exchanges that went on in many of these saloons. These meeting places emitted a brotherhood among its customers, not one that was spoken of, or celebrated, but felt in the spirit and the men knew they could count on aid when needed. "Grateful is he to the saloon that was his "friend in need;" bitter toward those who, without offering anything better, propose to take from him the only
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