Manuscript/Mixed Material Image 6 of [Reuben and his Restaurant]

About this Item

then, every little delicatessan owner used to keep a few cans of anchovies and caviar in stock. Just a few cans at a time. Well, I figure it out that when things really get going nobody would be able to import the stuff. So what do you think I did? I went around to each little shtoonky place buying up a few cans at a time, and when things got hot and you couldn't get some good anchovies or caviar for love or money, who do you think you had to come to? Yes boys, you see! Well, I'll tell you about how I got the sandwich idea. I owned a delicatessan on Broadway and one day a dame walks in, one of the theatrical dames, and she's down and out I suppose, and she asks me for something to eat. Her name was Anna Selos. Well, I'm feeling sort of good, so I figure I'll clown around for the dame. That's how it all came about. I'm clowning for the dame. Well, what do I do? I take a holy bread that I used to keep and grab up the knife and, you know, clowning like, I cut it right through on the bias. Then I take some roast beef, I don't remember exactly what. But, anyway, I figure I'll put anything on. So I take some meat and cheese and I slap it on, and I put on some spice and stuff and I make her up a sandwich; it was a foot high. Well the dame just eats it, that's all. She must have been plenty hungry. And when she gets through she says, “Mr. Reuben, that's the best sandwich I ever tasted in my life.” Well, the idea comes to me in a flash. I'll call it the Anna Selos sandwich, after the dame. Then, one night, she brings some friends up, you know, stage people and a newspaper man, and this guy he goes right behind the counter and makes himself up a sandwich, and then he tells me why I don't call the sandwich after celebrities? Like what happened with Anna Selos. Why don't I call it the Anna Selos sandwich? Well, boys, in a flash, I get the idea. Anna Selos! I'll call it a Reuben Special. And that's how it started. Then one day Marjorie Rambeau came in to the store and I made her a sandwich and I called it the Marjorie Rambeau sandwich. How did I do it? Well, I just slap it together. Whatever came into my mind. But I used good stuff. Once Nikita Baileff, you know, of the Chauve Souria, came into the place downstairs and he knew that I made sandwiches for famous people and named it for them. So he says to me, “Mr. Reuben,

About this Item

[Reuben and his Restaurant]
Contributor Names
Manoff, Arnold (Interviewer)
Reuben, Arnold (Interviewee)
Created / Published
New York City, New York
Subject Headings
-  Emigration and Immigration
-  Germans
-  Delicatessens
-  Narratives
-  United States -- New York -- New York City
Call Number/Physical Location
series: Folklore Project, Life Histories, 1936-39
MSS55715: BOX A722
Source Collection
U.S. Work Projects Administration, Federal Writers' Project
Manuscript Division
Online Format
online text

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any copyright in the documents in this collection. As far as is known, the documents were written by U.S. Government employees. Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States, although they may be under copyright in some foreign countries. The persons interviewed or whose words were transcribed were generally not employees of the U.S. Government. Privacy and publicity rights may apply.

Suggested credit line: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project Collection.

The introduction was written by Ann Banks © 1980 and produced by Joanne B. Freeman. The sound recordings were produced by Joan Murphy Stack and engineered by Rob Attinello. The actors who read the manuscripts were Clement Cottingham, Billie Durand, George A. Jackson, Jr., Margaret Root, Edward S. Stout, and Edna Jeweline White.

Privacy and Publication

Issues pertaining to privacy and publicity may arise when a researcher contemplates the use of letters, diary entries, or reportage found in library collections. Because two or more people are often involved (e.g., photographer and subject) and because of the ease with which they can be reused, photographs and motion pictures represent the types of documents in which issues of privacy and publicity emerge with some frequency.

Privacy and publicity rights are, of course, distinct from copyright. For example, an advertiser may have the photographer's permission (as copyright owner) to use a portrait. But in order to avoid invading privacy, the advertiser may also need the sitter's permission to use the photograph. In fact, publishers sometimes ask photographers to submit a copy of a "release form" in order to establish that the subject of a photograph gave his or her consent.

Although the risks for use in a periodical's "editorial" pages may be less than for use in advertising or for other commercial purposes, they can still be high if the person depicted is held up to ridicule or presented in a libelous manner.

While it is true that famous or public figures who seek recognition have thereby surrendered some privacy, they may have the right to control the commercial use of their image (likeness, voice, signature, etc.). This principle recognizes that a celebrity's image can be an asset in trade.

For more on these and related topics, consult the following books:

Chernoff, George and Hershel Sarbin. Photography and the Law, NY: AMPHOTO, 1971. Library of Congress call number: KF2042.P45C44 1971.

Schultz, John and Barbara Schultz. Picture Research: A Practical Guide, NY: Van Nostrand, 1991. Library of Congress call number: TR147.S38 1991.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Manoff, Arnold, and Arnold Reuben. Reuben and his Restaurant. New York City, New York, 1938. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Manoff, A. & Reuben, A. (1938) Reuben and his Restaurant. New York City, New York. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Manoff, Arnold, and Arnold Reuben. Reuben and his Restaurant. New York City, New York, 1938. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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