Fred Harvey - Denmark

Manufacturer: Syracuse China
Pattern name: Denmark 2900 Series
User: Fred Harvey
Date: 1950
Notes: Denmark is a popular Syracuse China stock pattern designed by J.T. Wigley. A patent for it, #47,314, was issued May 4, 1915. Based on its inclusion in an early Syracuse catalog (photo below), it was available in a variety of colors but is most often seen in a medium gray blue.

The border design includes a series of heart-shaped leaves with small alternating snowflakes or asterisks, with a wavy line on the outside edge – all in one color. Some larger pieces of the pattern may be found with a related, circular design in the center.

According to Doug McIntyre in “The Official Guide to Railroad Dining Car China,” Denmark, in blue, “was the standard pattern at the Springfield, Missouri, Harvey House for many years.”

It was also used by the St. Louis - San Francisco Railway “from the 1930s through the 60s on non-streamlined trains,” and was known as Blue Denmark – “the official railroad designation for this pattern.”

It is important to note that other venues in addition to Fred Harvey and his Harvey House restaurants could have ordered this pattern in blue.

About Fred Harvey
Fred Harvey was well known in the last quarter of the 19th century and during the 20th century for his railroad eating houses, many of which went by the name Harvey House. The restaurants – said to be the first chain – provided prompt service and high-quality food for incoming rail passengers. Eventually Harvey provided dining car and hotel service as well.

From the wikipedia: "Fred Harvey, a fastidious innkeeper, set high standards for efficiency and cleanliness in his establishments, personally inspecting them as often as possible. It was said that nothing escaped his notice, and he was even known to completely overturn a poorly-set table."

“It has been suggested that the Harvey Houses originated the ‘blue-plate special,’ a daily low-priced complete meal served on a blue-patterned china plate; an 1892 Harvey menu mentions them, some thirty years before the term became widespread. In addition to the Santa Fe, the Harvey Company operated dining facilities for the Gulf Coast and Santa Fe Railway, the Kansas Pacific Railway, the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, and the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis.”

Harvey died in 1901, but his Fred Harvey Company continued to 1968 under the management of his sons and grandson, when it was sold to Amfac Inc.

For more info:
Fred Harvey - Harvey Paisley by Bauscher Brothers
Fred Harvey - Webster by Syracuse China
Fred Harvey - Encanto by Syracuse China
Fred Harvey - 4300 Series by Syracuse China
Fred Harvey - Webster by Syracuse China
Berkeley by Syracuse China

Catalog page contributed by Larry Paul
Photo contributed by Susan Phillips

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