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LAistory: The Fred Harvey Room

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While we're talking about train stations, a man by the name, Fred Harvey forged a partnership in 1876 with the railroads to open chains of hotels and restaurants along the railways, they continued to be built and operated through the 1940s, though Fred Harvey himself died in 1901.

They became a civilizing force in the wild west. Food was served on china, and coats were required in the dining rooms.

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It's thought that blue plate specials were started by the Fred Harvey company, seeing as they appeared on their menus as early as 1892 -- thirty years before they appear anyplace else. They were so named because they were served on blue patterned china.