I have always been intrigued by this particular metal serving tray from the Fred W. Peterson Saloon located at 400 Cedar Street in downtown Minneapolis, MN. What was the rationale for using the President of the United States image on a saloon beer serving tray? Would President Roosevelt approve of this? History tells us the President never liked his image being used on anything, however, thousands of items were produced with his image for promotional purposes. This particular tray from Minneapolis is dated 1905, the year in which President Roosevelt took office.
Simply put, when this tray was produced in 1905 upon the election of President Roosevelt, the nation was still recovering from the recent assassination of President McKinley in 1901. Patriotism was great, and what a better way to honor or celebrate hope than incorporate a war hero like Theodore Roosevelt. For this reason alone, President Roosevelt found his image on cups, spoons, serving trays, lithographic signs, and so forth helping advertise a local business. The Presidents popularity was so great the decision to use his image was probably a smart one, and his lasting popularity is probably the reason so many items survive today from that era with his image in excellent condition. These items were used as keepsakes by many of that era.