NEBRASKAland December 2017

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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Page 12 of 63

DECEMBER 2017 • NEBRASKAland 13 Omaha bar, 1910. NSHS RG3542-95-17 O h b 1910 NSHS RG3542 95 17 A first-class bartender, according to the Bee, should have a number of attributes. "He must not only be a machine, [but] an accurate machine at that – able to compound a list of drinks as long as your arm – putting together the proper ingredients in the proper proportions. He must be a close student of human nature, affable and agreeable under all circumstances and at all times ... If a customer is sleepy and stupid, the man behind the bar must possess the ability to give him a decoction which shall open his eyes and make him feel wide awake and ready for business; if he, on the other hand, [is] unable to sleep and in need of rest, the bartender must call to his aid the magic of his art and give him something to soothe his nerves and insure him a night of sweet sleep." Bartenders were not paid high salaries, noted the Bee. "Twenty dollars a week is the amount earned by the majority of Omaha's best drink-mixers. A few are paid $100 a month and one or two perhaps a trifle over that amount." Although wages were not high, bartenders had the reputation of spending freely. They were said to be "well- dressed, gentlemanly fellows, who live well and know how to spend their money. A bartender who saves his money is a very rare exception. The majority of this class of men prefer to spend it on women, high living and diamonds." ■ Visit the Nebraska State Historical Society's website at

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