Popeye, the cartoon character created by the American artist E. C. Segar, first appeared in a comic strip in 1929. His best friend was J. Wellington Wimpy, a deadbeat guy who loved hamburgers as much as the pugnacious Popeye loved spinach. Both became wildly popular comic strip characters.
The Wimpy name was trademarked in the 1930s by Chicago businessman Eddie Gold for a fast food restaurant chain. Two decades later, the brand was licensed by the British food conglomerate Joseph Lyons and Co. (Nigella Lawson's mother Vanessa Salmon was a member of the J. Lyons and Co. family) The first Wimpy Bar opened in London in 1954 and eventually there were almost 1,000 Wimpy's in 23 countries. Their reign began to be challenged in the 1970s by McDonald's.
This reproduction menu cover comes from the famous Wimpy's Inn which operated in two locations in San Francisco in the 1930s. Brothers Walt and Adolph Schoch, the sons of Swiss immigrants, also used the cartoon character's name for their hamburger and hot dog shops. Their motto was, "Wimpy Says Keep Smiling" - a reference to the fact that Wimpy was a morose sidekick to Popeye - and they printed the motto on all their menus.
J. Wellington Wimpy's most famous catch-phrase was, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today".
Courtesy Private Collection.
Cool Culinaria Ultimate Giclee Prints on 130lb paper. 11oz ceramic mugs. All printed in USA.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu.