Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

March 15, 2014

NIAGARA DISCOVERIES: Lockport Exchange Coffee House

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Long before Tim Horton’s, Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks, Lockport and many other cities had what was called an Exchange Coffee House.

The first coffee house was opened in Constantinople in 1475. The drink was served hot, black and very strong. In 1529, when the first coffee house opened in Vienna, patrons were adding the now familiar cream and sugar to their drink. Over the next 100-plus years, coffee houses spread across Europe. The coffee craze reached London in 1652, when two Turkish men opened the “Turk’s Head.” Sixteen years later, in 1668, Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house that attracted men engaged in the shipping and insurance trades. It eventually became Lloyd’s of London. Jonathan’s Coffee House was the birthplace of the London Stock Exchange. 

Each coffee house catered to a specific professional clientele that gathered to exchange information and, of course, gossip. Even the clergy frequented their own coffee houses. Not everyone approved of these establishments. Women believed they made men “as unfruitful as the deserts” and in 1674 King Charles II issued an edict in which all coffee houses would be closed.

“Whereas it is most apparent that the multitude of coffee houses ... have produced very evil and dangerous effects … his Majesty has thought it fit and necessary that the said coffee houses be for the future put down and suppressed.”

You can well imagine the public outcry over this (just think if our government tried to shut down Tim Horton’s!). This edict was soon repealed and by 1700 it was estimated that London alone had between 300 and 1,000 coffee houses. It wasn’t long before coffee houses were springing up in the colonies as well. After the “Boston Tea Party,” drinking coffee, rather than tea, was considered a patriotic duty.

Our Founding Fathers met in coffee houses in Boston, New York and Philadelphia to plan for the new government. The Tontine Coffee House (1792) was the original home of the New York Stock Exchange. When a new Exchange Coffee House was constructed in Boston in 1809, it was the largest, tallest and most ornate building in the city. It was also built entirely on speculation and when the builder could no longer pay the bills, he fled to Alabama. Less than 10 years after it was built, it burned to the ground in a spectacular fire.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.