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NewsRadio 1330 KNSS>Audio & Video on Demand>>Sat 4/26/14 Author: Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time by Stephen Fried

Sat 4/26/14 Author: Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time by Stephen Fried

Apr 26, 2014|

Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time by Stephen Fried

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I'm John bachelor this is the John bachelor show. The United States of America and the railroad. That's -- marriage that was part or part. Middle of the nineteenth century. The railroads before the civil war were very minor aspect of the growth in the country -- they exploded. And then the transcontinental railroad. And that move the goods in the railroad took over congress. And we wrote the second half the nineteenth century about around towns that were on the high iron. And senators and congressmen and businessman who could deal with the railroads and there power. In national power and its state. Alongside those railroads. However man's gotta eat. And there's a new book that discovers that the little known and completely recognize -- wonderful fact. That the railroads bring us franchises. Branding and probably the Walt Disney World. The book is. Appetite for America Stephen -- the author and this is about a man you're going to think Steven made up but he did. How visionary businessman Fred art built around our hospitality empire. It's -- the wild west David very that he viewed this is wonderful and we've got to establish that Fred -- really did exist. Where was he born and when did he come to a. You did -- this used word in London and 1835. Came to America and 185317. Years old. And it lists and worked in the restaurant called that -- the and held right where the boats came and in -- in lower Manhattan. -- he got off that -- the boat from London are from Britain with two pounds in his pocket which wasn't a great deal of money -- eat. So we went to an eatery a well established place in fact you'd say that it was so famous that Thomas that doesn't like to work on the eat on the first floor even when he could afford the second floor. Yet it was one of the market restaurant there in the Washington market. And Fred Harvey was hired as a wonderful term pot while -- what is that Steve we believe that the British -- being a dishwasher. I've red army however brought with him the kind of dynamism that we associate with fictional. -- in fact. That most of your book I felt like it was a wonderful novels Stephen did you feel like that when you were assembling these facts. I did I mean you know initially the Fred -- story which is cold war in the west -- in the east is a little bit of the caricature and -- when I finally got access the real fact that we we dealt with Fred real estate -- The family added never shared I really did think that it unfold like a novel model is like -- on life. The relationship between all the members in the business typically quite a drop. Fred works in New York he saves us money but he needs to gut and he needs to go where the action is -- And he wants to go find America and find a fortune silly take I think he shipped out to New Orleans. Was disgusted with slavery this is 1861 right before the war breaks out yet goes up river to Saint Louis what does Saint Louis in sixty what a 6061. When he arrives. They Lewis is really get you know the north of the south the south of the north east to the west in the west that you most inflicted city in America. And Fred opened -- restaurant not far from the where the -- it. And actually quite successful there you know he'd married. A child. Has. A partner in southern sympathizer. And basically you know by the time in mid twenties believes the -- living the American injury. And then disaster which is the way it's supposed to happen when you build a fortune is supposed to make and lose several fortune to nineteenth century America's partner runs a live all the money. Fred as heavy legacy as a wife and child to support maybe to children's and another one all the way another one on the way. So by his bootstraps he sets off. To find another fortune and he goes to place called saint shows where is that. They just in the story is the westernmost part of the state of Missouri and it's where the railroad and it. When the civil war came the railroad stop the story reverse though if you were in the transportation businesses that -- -- the pony express left from. And basically you know you trained in that argument take things across the Missouri River and then they had to go -- stage as the rest the way wet. All right it's now about eighteen. Fred by the ways had -- when he arrives. In saint Joe's and. What and his wife dies giving birth of their second child. Right so he's got two children and his health has never fully recovered after that typhoid epidemic. Good heavens they had to be strong people to survive without antibiotics. Yet and he then moves to leavenworth where it becomes a ticket clerk for the what you called the -- and -- as today with the. Our -- load jolting over the Hannibal Saint Joseph. Right he becomes a ticket clerk. But he's very fastidious with -- a note keeper and -- diary keeper as as early 65. We actually have a diary starting at 67 I wish that I could say there was more psychological stuff in it but. He was a businessman a lot of what he kept -- bit of how much money people load of what you showed it. How we felt. Our rights and now he's in leavenworth which is where the -- where the president's today but in this time. They were all looking for the big rate which was going to be that high iron. What was that they wanted to happen all of Kansas was looking for the high iron what do they want. Well leavenworth was assumed to be the next great city in America is believed it would be the next Day-Lewis is believed that the transcontinental railroad would go through leavenworth because. Fort Leavenworth was most important for what in the west. And that is a bit of leavenworth to sort of waiting for their moment and it never came. Train transcontinental railroad went further north. And then when the major train line came -- came across the river became the Kansas City and Kansas City became an active. And Fred is not crushed he sees opportunities but he likes Levin worth. So now he goes to work for bigger railroad team he what he likes being a ticket clerk he hasn't quite yet discovered of the restaurant business. And yet you moved any fact you've moved from being picnic -- to be rated. And back in those days you know passengers really work second class in this freight doesn't complain with the motto. There he was afraid agent and admit that he went all the different businessman. Help them ship their goods to -- the ship their cattle. Would ship their vegetables. That you learned everybody's business in the west and let's just in the lab work and rode the train as they expand in the west and and admit businessman all over the place to -- liner stuff that. You bring bone back the you know buffalo bones. When they were shot at the track anything that needed to be transported Fred was in the business. Taking care that. This is an englishman who is in the west Denny he's the steady as he needs a careful person but he hasn't yet found. What is going to transform. America. And he finds a partner rice and they -- and they take up conversation with the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe that's an upstart railroad where as the base statement. It it was fate that Ivins bought in the mean that's for the body was from. It may offices were at the peca in these railroads were originally. Senate to run about you know twenty if they were basically. Get enough money to go as far as they could between two count and go to the next big help raise money to spend it Ream was that it would extend it in a statement. But it didn't yet and they are given. Three restaurants in Lawrence in Wallace and all the way to Hugo Colorado was at the end of the loan. They'll actually go to the progress that's what we're on the campus Pacific railroad which is where Fred. Sorted out that's where he first learned rest running and then yeah went to the Hutchison to yet. -- -- beat McCain if it was a larger real which read the lights and he would like working with right either that -- very short period of time he decided he would go out zone. And go to the action to Pico which was a much smaller railroad. But he knew people there at all that they will be more open to ideas. And the first restaurant he opens or eatery is the Santa Fe depot in Topeka as yet the second floor you have a picture of your. Do the second floor lecture not only give a picture of it we actually found in his state -- the Vista the first thing that you went out to buy because he decided that this lunchroom should have. Fine China you have white table ought to -- you believe that these restaurants in the west -- the rest of the west were terrible. And there were no dining cars you have to get off the train eat. And you believe that whichever -- -- figured out there was important take care of the passengers which none of them did I like our airlines today. That they would they would succeed because of course back then. There were different rare or competing get together account would have the rear were railroad. And so Fred discovers the Santa Fe depot to -- restaurant. He establishes himself as giving good food fresh food. For everybody who comes the end. And he's now he's now about to make the leap into health tourism in a place called Las Vegas New Mexico where is that statement. What they -- in Mexico was right when you come across the Colorado border. And it's in the work. Eastern New Mexico and it was one of the one of the major us benefit rail trail now where he got into space. See that's how you crossed over from Colorado on the ultimate betrayal it would Talbot had some commerce it was not a nonexistent Alex over the railroad. But Fred is working both the restaurant business and -- that Stephen freed spoke his appetite for America and the of these wonderful rules that Fred put up in his restaurants. You always have a sincere interest in people at the all good practical it's rules written down for his employees. But the health tourism business with that aside -- freighters this anticipating his hotel to. Well I think at this point if the idea of health tourism was it was a way to draw people to the west. In New Mexico and Arizona were not the playland that we think -- -- today people thought well let it -- desert. So the fact that was big in Mexico had hot spring that would -- to be medicinal. What is -- draw because people did come to the west thinking that there help would be -- You might there was no antibiotics if you had tuberculosis. Or other illnesses people were starting to come for the west to do that in the accident because if they wanted to get in on that market. They build a hotel all the Montezuma. Six miles outside of Las -- Up in the hills where there were natural Hotspur. I'm speaking with Stephen -- the book is appetite for America and when we come back. The next genius move is Harvey girls were headed towards the man who invented the franchise that you might know. As part of the Disney World doesn't make any sense that train that goes around and around I'm John that this is the John that's show. John back -- the John that's what show I'm continuing my conversation. With Stephen -- who's wonderful new book a way of actually tracking the history of the development of -- -- -- America. Is appetite for America. How of visionary businessman Fred -- build a railroad hospitality empire of the civilized the wild west I mentioned the author Stephen green is an award winning investigative journalist. And essayist as well as an adjunct professor at Columbia university's graduate school of journalism. He's the author of previously. Thing of beauty the tragedy of super model -- that was an inspiration for the Emmy winning a film -- Also bitter pills the new -- line and husbandry. And mr. previews the two time winner of the national magazine. Award. And mystery has frequently written for Vanity Fair GQ. The Washington Post magazine Rolling Stone clamor ladies' home journal and Philadelphia magazine he lives in Philadelphia. -- his wife he -- Diane and it's mr. -- book. Hampton sides the popular author of blood and thunder says part business story part social history part found myself. Appetite for America gives us winning the west and a whole new mouth watering when fit in there were rules about where how far west a woman it. A lady go and how far west a woman. Who is it that gave -- the idea that staffing his restaurants. Would -- a process. If he chose young unmarried women instead -- I believe at the time they had African Americans that. I think that -- mail this anywhere. City. Certainly dangerous that they all the -- midwest the dot if you were. Women of questionable repute. But there were a lot of racial incidents New Mexico a lot of the cowboys there have been people who have been on the confederate side it would walk with -- The old America that the cowboys so -- African American male waiters were getting in trouble and having to carry guns to defend themselves. So -- -- -- -- got to believe that anybody -- a good idea usually with some really brilliant managers that way. Not somebody who's so for themselves that would list of the people. So yeah actually brought a god it was a neighbor of The -- -- growing up in leavenworth. At present in the problems they were having New Mexico and that what do you take over this restaurant it was in Raton New Mexico was lost they. And he had the ideas but I'm able civil I would only do this we could bring women from Kansas. You know and bring them out here let them be the waitresses that you would lower. The level of violence and testosterone your and so they did that it were -- it was so successful they decided that would become. Hallmark of the company's of course if you opened restaurants all along the train line in your main. Employees -- single women. You're gonna be making people very happy. And and they dress them and a certain way they infected very much reminds me of everything about -- -- world everyone was dressed turn I mean this is 1880s so their all dressed appropriate to that age they have white. How wiped out aprons on and they were all very attractive and you would and are owned these restaurants all you get off the train. And you go into a Fred Harvey rat -- and Stephen makes that point it's not -- army company. It's not Fred army -- and Fred army international was just called Fred art. Yeah they they knew the power his name partly because he understood that in the west is doing business in multiple places you have to be able to sign your name of the people. But -- the -- later had health problems so many people stood in for Fred art supermarket became an idea. And that the beginning of American brand it as we know it. And Fred Harvey his health problems lead to his death but there is heroics. Because his son Ford. Takes up the causes father one point asked Ford to leave college wrote Ford seems to have been a gifted. And very athletic person who left college took over the company and drove it successfully through the turn of the century. So that the Fred Harvey -- all along the train lines and took over. The the big stations as they were built the Chicago union station's one of the best pictures in your book Fred and a onetime Chicago union that was all Fred. Yes Chicago Kansas City Saint Louis. These were all all fresh RB not only a restaurant all the stores. The barbershop beauty shop for -- expanded. Mightily after just being at restaurants the hotels and running news stations in the an acute retail. Through the first war carrying troops through the depression to the second more carrying troops again. And now the pay off for Stephen's book that it's a total surprise yes there is a movie with Judy Garland called the Harvey girls and yes you can see. The wonderful Atchison Topeka and Santa -- Song perform by Judy Garland and other stars of the period. But at the same time we learned that -- very despairing. Cartoonist and men running and business for. Motion pictures and Hollywood takes a trip on the Atchison Topeka and Santa -- to Chicago his name is Walt Disney and what is his inspiration on that trip Steve. Well first of all we find out -- Walt -- first -- embedded Mickey now on a bit -- a railroad car when he was coming back from New York after particularly dispiriting. Situation with -- early -- but what happened was. After the Second World War Walt Disney company -- decimated the depression you know there was there was almost nothing laughed and -- and. You -- all the cameras bimbo six it was -- six years before. At its that he was set on a trip by one of his secretaries. To train show -- -- -- -- loved trains he has brother growing up in Kansas City they've both been butcher boy. The voice is sold things walking down the aisle for his brother worked Fred RB. And wolf for the competitor and so -- was sent to the to the Chicago -- show for the hundredth anniversary of trade to Chicago and he had inspiration. And he also went to Detroit you in the Henry Ford was creating when he came back he he thought up the idea for Disney World. -- -- re purpose all its characters but also -- the party company had started Indian business along the railroad. People would stop in the -- the Indians weaving in doing -- -- demonstration. At the beginning of this sort of well authenticity. People could go see something done they could otherwise see what did you learn about that from the front are. The book is appetite for America how visionary businessman Fred Harvey built a railroad hospitality empire that -- the west Stephen -- the author. You know him as Walt Disney but -- forever after reading this book will know him as Fred Harvey I'm John bachelor this is the John about it.

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