Manufacturer: Cook China, Trenton, NJ
User: Bowles Lunch
Date of plate: 1912 – 1930
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)
White body with large swag border of green flowers, leaves & bows. Topmarked in green with large letter "B" in a center circle and the words "Bowles Lunch Inc." around the circle within another ornamental design.