The Century, 1847-1946

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Drink and Food

THE Club archives do not disclose, nor does tradition tell, what the first Centurions ate or drank. Their heritage from the Sketch Club was one of plain living, for early in its history that organization had considered a by-law which said that "the eatables and drinkables are to be simple but good. Ardent spirits, though not absolutely prohibited, are yet to be introduced but sparingly, and not at all when other liquids more appropriate, can be conveniently procured. Set suppers shall be discountenanced." The committee which framed this by-law advised leaving decisions as to the quality or quantity of refreshments to be consumed at each meeting to the taste or convenience of the several members, subject however -- and we quote from the original minutes--"to the general understanding that the Club is not an association of gourmands o bon-vivants, and that its objects have relation rather to the head, than to the once mutinous but certainly not unimportant member of the body corporeal, the belly."

In those early days the members of the Sketch Club met at each other's houses. The committee which advocated the by-law in question pointed out that "Claret and Cake may be found highly gratifying at one time, and Punch and Pumpkin-pies be welcomed at another; Raisins and other simple productions of the soil may be swallowed with relish at one meeting, and Sandwiches or Oysters incorporated with sensible pleasure at the next. Therefore, your Committee beg leave to recommend that the disposition of the edibles be left to be regulated by every individual at his own pleasure and convenience."

At a meeting held on February 13, 1829, it was reported "Sandwiches, prime and well attended to; crackers and cheese rather neglected. Wine, mulled, and in naturalibus, abundant; also porter. No drawing, but of corks."

In his Prehistoric Notes of the Century Club, Centurion John Durand, who had been a member since 1847 and was the son of Asher B. Durand,

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The Century, 1847-1946
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • The Century, 1847-1946 1
  • The Century, 1867-1886 25
  • The Century, 1907-1926 80
  • The Century, 1927-1946 102
  • The Century and American Art 154
  • Poets and the Century 184
  • Memoirs of Centurian Architects 205
  • The Century Library 226
  • The Committee on Admissions 232
  • Finances of the Century 238
  • Drink and Food 259
  • Billiards and Cowboy 273
  • The Year 1947 279
  • Centennial Celebration 282
  • Founders, Officers, Honorary Members 299
  • An Album of Centurions 303
  • Centurions: 1847-1946 363
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