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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Saga of the Coffeehouse (Cafe')

I did a little research on the origin of the "coffeehouse" and found it to be very interesting.  The first known coffeehouses were found in the middle east during the Ottoman Empire.  It spread west into Europe through war, conquest and the expanding trade routes. 
 
According to www.squidoo.com  ....
"Coffeehouses have been social centers of cultures from Istanbul to London, from Paris to Rome, and most of these were havens for intellectuals, entertainers, writers, and political observers who sat for hours in either very plain (London) or very ornate (Paris) buildings where the coffee was strong, hot and the best conduit for the greatest conversationalists of every era from the 15th century to the 21st."
 
From http://coffeetea.about.com  I learned such tidbits as ....
"It was in an English coffee house that the word "tips" was first used for gratuities. A jar with a sign reading, "To Insure Prompt Service" sat on the counter. You put a coin in the jar to be served quickly.
 
The British called their coffee houses, "penny universities" because that was the price for the coffee and the social upper-class of business-men were found there. In fact, a small coffee shop run by Edward Lloyd in 1668 was such a business hub, it eventually became the still-operating Lloyd's of London insurance company.

When America was colonized, the coffee house was quick to follow. The role of the American coffee house was the same as those in England: the hotspots for the business community. The Tontine Coffee House (1792) in New York was the original location for the New York Stock Exchange, because so much business was conducted there." 

And at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coffeehouse I learned (as they quoted Macaulay) ... "The coffeehouse must not be dismissed with a cursory mention. It might indeed, at that time, have been not improperly called a most important political institution. . . . The coffeehouses were the chief organs through which the public opinion of the metropolis vented itself. . . . Every man of the upper or middle class went daily to his coffeehouse to learn the news and discuss it. Every coffeehouse had one or more orators, to whose eloquence the crowd listened with admiration, and who soon became what the journalists of our own time have been called -- a fourth estate of the realm" 

I also found there what I felt was a good definition of the Stockman ... "A house of entertainment, where guests are supplied with coffee and other refreshments, and where men meet for conversation." 

But I feel the best definition of the Stockman was from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffeehouse ... "From a cultural standpoint, coffeehouses largely serve as centers of social interaction: the coffeehouse provides social members with a place to congregate, talk, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time, whether individually or in small groups of 2 or 3."

All my research this morning proves the importance of the coffeehouse (or cafe') in forming our total culture, the shaping of our nation, it's influence on our business, the exchange of ideas and our political savvy.  These gathering of intellectuals continue to discuss the problems we as a nation face.

The part that bothers me is: can we trust the intelligence of a group of guys who would go sit in a room huddled around a stove where the room temperature is 42 degrees!  (picture taken INSIDE the Stockman Jan. 16, 2009 at 6:30 AM)

Dennis

5 comments:

Jenni said...

I've been thinking about how I need to make a trip out there to the Stockman and I've decided it won't be until summer. Yes, even before this post I decided that. First off, I need to get up and actually out at an ungodly hour to drive over. It will be light earlier in summer. Secondly, I need to do it when I don't have kids to run to school for wrestling conditioning (6:00) or the school day (7:45) and when those kids can stay home and do the morning feeding for the animals. I'd also wondered about the heat situation inside The Stockman Cafe. I think for now I will enjoy the virtual coffeehouse that is the blog world.

crabby old man said...

The coffee shop I hang out , you can learn alot but nothing you would trust to put Ur money in.
IN UR COFFEE I believe I could trust Chester. He sounds level headed ,I bet his snuff runs out both sides of his mouth

The Ponderer said...

If you guys would buy a breakfast every now and then they might be able to turn up the heat!

Jackie said...

I agree with one of your readers...you should publish your blog!!

Janie said...

The Stockhouse, huh?

So, is that close to the Oilpatch?