Out of the Box: Dinner on Board a Passenger Ship

SS ORONSAY, Australia Day Dinner 26 January 1958, Orient Line. Artist Mr Lynton Lamb. New Zealand Maritime Museum [14891]

Out of the Box exhibitions showcase the treasures from the Bill Laxon Maritime Library that are not on permanent display in the Museum. Items are displayed in the Edmiston Gallery and include archives, diaries, manuscripts, rare books, ephemera and photographs.

Dinner on Board a Passenger Ship: A Menu Selection 1935-1970  
1 October 2014 - 30 November 2014  

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to eat stewed lettuce, ragout of wild boar, split lambs’ tongues, chow chow in syrup, cat’s tongues and golden tit-bits? These are just some examples of the dishes on the passenger ship dinner menus in the Museum collections. 

Seated at the dining table would you even know what some of these foods are? Would you ask the waiter? Would you just ignore what you did not know and pick something you were familiar with?

Shipping companies had a supply of printed menus which were designed to showcase heritage buildings, flora and fauna or specially commissioned work by artists. 

In 1960 Royal Rotterdam Lloyd held an International Menu Card Competition. Barrie Ashe entered his Australian design at the age of 21.

For the next two months see if you can spot these items on the menus that are on display.