Bowles Lunch

Manufacturer: Scammell China
User: Bowles Lunch
Date: 1923 - 1954
Notes: In 1897, Henry Leland Bowles borrowed $1,000 to start his first Bowles Lunch business in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1904, he expanded under the firm name of H.L. Bowles & Co. (Charles C. Gilbert parent company) in Detroit, Michigan; and in the years that followed, quickly grew the Bowles Lunch chain within the United States and Canada. In September 1912, he opened a Bowles Lunch in Toronto, Canada under the Bowles Lunch Co., LTD of Canada, followed by Bowles Lunches in Ottawa, Hamilton & London, Canada.

Bowles Lunch began as a businessmen's-only establishment; so there were no locks on the lunch room doors and food service was offered 24-hours-a-day, year round. The chain purportedly was the first to use one-arm chairs for its patrons, although J.A. Whitcomb founder of the Baltimore Dairy Lunch actually patented the one-arm chair in April 1903 and employed Henry Bowles before he started his own lunch business.

By 1915, Henry Bowles was also the proprietor of several Baltimore Lunch locations in Springfield, Mass., Hartford, Conn., as well as Syracuse and Buffalo, New York. (Source: Who's Who in New England, 1915, published by Albert Nelson Marquis.) He later served as a US Congressional Representative from 1925-1929.

In the 1930s, the Bowles Lunch chain in Canada was purchased by Toronto businessmen Percy Gardiner and Ronald Graham, and remained in operation until the 1950s, when it became Scott's restaurant. (Source: "Memories of Bowles Lunches, April 28, 1985," Toronto Sketches 3, Mike Filey)

Click here to view the original US Patent for this pattern issued on January 20, 1925 to George Ellis, assignor to the Maddock Pottery Co.

For related info:
Bowles Lunch 2 by Carr China
Bowles Lunch 3 by Cook China
Bowles Lunch 4 by Maddock Pottery Co.
Baltimore Lunch by Unknown Manufacturer
Baltimore Lunch 2 by Maddock Pottery Co.

The following information was found in a Scammell salesperson's handwritten order book. This Bowles Lunch china order on January 7, 1924, confirms the shipment location, the restaurant ware colors, line and crest information. The order also included pricing details and the standard china order with two different types of mugs:
Bowles Lunch Inc.
213-215 Bowles Building
Springfield, Mass.

Trenton China - Bowles Border (#128) & Badge, Green
Order: 1/7/1924:
Trenton China #398 Bowles Border & New Bowles Crest
All Walnut Brown
Mugs 30s Dairy: 1 dozen with crest
Plates 5" Dairy: 2 dozen with crest
Bakers 3" Dairy: 8 dozen plain white (Chicken Pie Dish)
Ice Creams 4-1/2": 3 dozen Dairy, no crest
Rice Custard: 4 dozen oatmeal nappie, no crest
B&M Bowls 5 dozen Dairy B&M With Crest
Bowls 30s Cereal Dairy: 6 Dozen Cereal Bowl with crest

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