City Hall Spoons

St. Louis, Missouri

Why would anyone want to honor a city hall by having its image engraved on a spoon bowl?

In today's cynical age, that is a good question. But at the turn of the century, people were less cynical about the role of government, and the addition of a new city hall in the latest architectural style was an event of which to be proud. Most cities were considerably smaller around 1900, for example, New York city had an estimated population of under 1,000,000.Yet the  tax-paying citizenry readily devoted a very large sum of money to building lavish city halls many of which cost in excess of 1,000,000 dollars. Remember at that time the average skilled worker made about 25 cents per hour, thus if we account for inflation, that $1,000,000 would be in excess of $25,000,000 today depending on which measure of inflation we use.

Hand Engraved City Hall Spoons

From top to bottom

1. Brockton, Massachusetts on goldenrod handle

2. Buffalo, New York on state handle

3. Marshfield, Wisconsin on state handle

4. St. Louis, Missouri on state handle (engraved 1896)

5. New York City, New York on state handle

6. New City Hall, Little Rock, Arkansas on state handle

Herewith I show some city halls from both large and small cities--all of which were important to the local citizenry.

Elgin, Illinois         Red Bud, Illinois


Southbend, IndianaWoodstock, Illinois

Red Bluff, California

Los Angeles, California dated 5-10-32

Return to spoon exhibits index