We’ll never know the identity of the enterprising employee who cleared his throat, stared down a guest and was remunerated for carrying a bag. But by the 1820s tipping the porter, like signing the register, was a ritual at hotels in New York and other big American cities.
Blame it on the buildings. Carrying bags wasn’t a problem for guests staying at small, squat colonial inns and taverns. But hotel architecture changed in the 1790s, with the advent of full-fledged hotels with complicated floor plans, writes A.K. Sandoval-Strausz in Hotel, An American History, a fascinating look at the evolution of the hotel. (more…)