Manufacturer: Carr China Company
Distributor: The Stearnes Company – Chicago
Date of mug: Unknown
Notes: After serving as the proprietor of the Planters Hotel – Chicago, Illinois, from 1912-1922, John P. Harding began a chain of grill rooms and sandwich shops in the early 1920s under his Harding Hotel Company. He later opened other restaurants, starting in 1928, under his John P. Harding Restaurant Company.
Harding's restaurant business was based at 21 South Wabash, where he also ran the Colonial Room, along with a number of smaller places inside Chicago's 'Loop' district. At the time of his death in March 1943, according to his obituary, John P. Harding owned a total of 12 restaurants in the Chicago Loop. Harding's son, James Patrick, continued on as President of the John P. Harding Restaurant Company until his death in April 1953. The companies originally founded by John P. Harding later became the Harding Restaurant Company in 1961.
There was a Harding's on the Howard Street L, where a kid could get "glorious mashed potatoes and gravy, heavenly macaroni and cheese, and fresh muffins." There was also a Harding's at 231 S. Wabash and 68 W. Madison, where John P. Harding himself gave out complimentary toys from his "treasure chest" to girls and boys at Christmastime. Note the logo on the interior back wall in the postcard shown above.
Harding also ran finer establishments, such as the Colonial Room, and the Presidential Grill at 109 W. Madison.
Content: Susan and Ed Phillips