Before McDonald’s there was Fred Harvey

(NYTBR) How important was Fred Harvey? Stephen Fried’s “Appetite for America” says that as the nation’s first popular champion of fine dining, he invented chain restaurants, chain hotels and chain bookstores; glamorized train travel; pioneered cultural tourism; and as the writer Frank Waters put it, “introduced America to Americans.” Harvey Girls, who staffed company restaurants at railroad depots throughout the West, were “the first major female work force in America.” Prior to ­Coca-Cola, “Fred Harvey” was our biggest brand name. Continued

Photo: Harvey House, Belen, New Mexico (Kim Choate/MDRails)

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