California Navigation & Improvement Company Menu.

[N.p. (California): the Improvement Company, circa 1885 ff.].

Bi-fold menu (20 x 13 cm.), [4] pages, lithographically printed. The menu spans both pages of the interior, and includes numerous ruled lines for specific dishes (here unused). The California Navigation & Improvement Company was formed in 1854, establishing steamship routes in San Francisco Bay as well as on the Sacramento and San Jacinto Rivers. In part, it was a consolidation based on ruinous competition between rival steamboat companies during the height of the California Gold Rush. In 1864, the company offered the first route between San Francisco and the Hawaiian Islands. The T.C. Walker, a stern-wheel steamer of 787 gross tons, launched in 1885 (though there are reports that the steamer was first commissioned in the mid-1860s). It plied the waters of the Sacramento Delta, and met its demise in the Suisun marshes (a largely paved over wetland in West Sacramento), and its hulking wreck served as the clubhouse for the aptly named Poop Deck Gun Club. The final page is a Notice to Passengers, with rules for conduct onboard. The front panel is lithographically illustrated with a depiction of the steamship underway, smoke billowing from its double stacks. A pencil annotation on the top of the page reads, “1st ruling[?] by old[?] (1st job on litho stone)”. There is one crease to the front and rear panels, and some soiling. Still near very good.

Price: $250.00