Manufacturer: Bauscher Brothers
User: King Joy Lo Mandarin Restaurant
Date of creamer: 1913
Notes: Located at 57 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL, King Joy Lo was a luxurious and prestigious Mandarin Restaurant, frequented by wealthy Chicagoans from 1910 through the 1930s. Billed as "The Most Beautiful and World Famous Mandarin Restaurant," King Joy Lo was an upscale Chicago Chinese restaurant, grand in size and richly decorated.
After the Great Depression and through World War II, high-end Chinese restaurants like King Joy Lo gradually disappeared and were replaced by Chinese restaurants aimed at the middle classes restaurants that were smaller, modestly decorated and more affordable. From the mid-1940s onward, about the time that the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed in 1943, Chinese restaurants held a different place in American society.
Click here to read more about the history of Chinese Food in Chicago from the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago (CAMOC).
The creamer has an off-white body with a top border of delicate, intertwining pink tree blossoms and small green leaves. At the center of the creamer, there is a large golden yellow and orange pennant banner with the words "King Joy Lo" above the elongated body of a fire-breathing dragon. The words "Mandarin Restaurant." appear beneath the banner in Old English black letters.
The platter has a white body with a border of red and green stripes. Topmarked with the same golden yellow and orange pennant banner, bearing the words "King Joy Lo" above the elongated body of a fire-breathing dragon.
Click here to see a King Joy Lo sugar bowl excavated by archaeologist Scott Demel in 2002 from the lakefront landfill of Chicago. This sugar bowl is considered one of the earliest surviving objects from a Chinese restaurant in the Midwest.
Postcard contributed by Bob Salika
Platter photos contributed by reddygal