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  #1  
Old 10-29-2002, 07:20 PM
BobT BobT is offline
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Marching and Chowder Society

I have searched online, but in vain, to find a definite origin to this phrase.

It seems to be a general sort of description to describe a fan club or social society.

LA Dodgers announcer Vin Scully uses it frequently when he reads some glowing statistic for a player, for example, "That's the 35th homer of the season for Joe. That will be good news to the members of the Joe Blow Marching and Chowder Society".
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2002, 07:49 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Bob We did a thread about this in the last month or so, with no conclusion. Or maybe it was paripheral to the thread.

Anyway, It can be traced to POGO, Walt Kelly, in the 1940's. Beyond that, I have no help right now. I will tyr to do more.
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:59 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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The reason the above reply appears to have been written by a drunk, illiterate person, is:

I was drinking wine, holding on to the phone calling my local talk show to shoot down two loonies about the Albany UFO and The "current" UN sex scandal. The scandal is 8 months old, and the UFO is probably rods. I had to talk and write at the same time. NOt a good combo.
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2002, 07:59 PM
Fenris Fenris is offline
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Samclem, do you have an cite? The earliest I've ever actually seen a reference was in the "Barnaby" strips by Crockett Johnson, which would be about 1950 ish.

Specifically the "Elves, Gnomes, Leprachauns and Little Men's Chowder and Marching Society", J. Jakeen O'Malley, President.

Fenris
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:24 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Barnaby started in 1942; the "Elves', Leprechaun's, Gnome's, and Little Men's Chowder and Marching Society" was introduced that year.

I don't believe it was used in Pogo.

I'm also not sure if Johnson was parodying an existing name.
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:28 PM
BobT BobT is offline
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Thanks,
I suppose if the collected minds of the SDMB couldn't figure it out, then I don't feel as bad for not finding out where it came from either.
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:30 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Quote:
It can be traced to POGO, Walt Kelly, in the 1940's
The name dates back at least as far as the 19th century:
Quote:
From Michael Pilson, on the History of the C&M name:
"I don't know how the name Chowder and Marching began here. The name is of course an old one going back well into the last century [19th] at least.
"The Tammany Hall political organization in New York began as a middle class group with the name of an Indian chief (whose name I forget) and became the Tammany Society and then Tammany Hall. When they were invaded by the Irish they became much more involved with the plight of the lower classes and also became the Democratic organization in New York City. I know that they had Chowder and Marching Societies, though I don't know exactly what role they played. I imagine or guess that they were a forum for the men to gather at some meeting house, drink beer and have chowder.
http://www.gso.uri.edu/CandM/CMhistory.html
Quote:
In the beginning was Aaron Burr, America's first professional politician, who in 1800 taught a chowder and marching society named Tammany Hall how to assemble lists of voters and canvass them, asking, with special urgency, if they were willing to give money.
http://hnn.us/articles/570.html
From the sound of various articles, the chowder and marching society bit was old even in 1800.
Yet more info for the curious here: http://www.google.com/search?as_q=hi...arch=&safe=off
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2002, 10:08 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Wow! Looks like I spoke too soon.

Chuck Thanks for that info. That certainly predates Kelly.

Squink I'm still trying to find a verifiable source in your links. I have only read them through one time, but they seem to be all second and third hand info, with no actual cites to the phrase being used.
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2002, 11:00 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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"Squink I'm still trying to find a verifiable source in your links."
Yes, in amongst the google links was a ref to a C&M society in Maine being formed in the ~1850's. That and the U of Rhode Island Oceanography organization (uri.edu) should be fairly simple to verify, but maybe not through just the internet.
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2002, 11:10 PM
xcheopis xcheopis is offline
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This is taken from Fruitcakes & Couch Potatoes and other delicious expressions by Christine Ammer:

Quote:
John Ciardi held that Chowder and Marching Society/Club became an arch name for any festive social gathering. It alludes to the nineteenth-century American practice of holding politically sponsered outings, in which the participants marched through town to the site of their picnic, which featured chowder and beer.
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2002, 08:39 AM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Interesting that the New England version of this phrase became the accepted norm.

In NYC, politically sponsored feedbags featured grilled beefsteaks (see the classic Joseph Mitchell New Yorker essay "All You Can Hold for Five Bucks").

Further south, of course, you'd be having barbecues.
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2002, 08:22 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Squink I still can't find an actual cite for the phrase used anytime before the 1940's. Can you research for the one from the 1850's in Maine?

As for the Oceanography group, one assumes they don't go back to the 1850's. Or even the 1950's.
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  #13  
Old 10-30-2002, 10:46 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Here you go:
Quote:
As I read the article I couldn't help but think of the fraternal organization that was founded over 130 years ago in our town Down East and was at the very center of all social life in town. I'm referring - of course - to the Cherryfield Chowder and Marching Society.
...
The organization was founded in 1868 by Eldridge T. Hooper.
...
In fact the original name was The Cherryfield Chowder Society - the marching business would come later.
...
By the early 1870s members decided there should be more to the organization than just chowder but they couldn't agree on what it should be. After many heated arguments and a few ugly chowder incidents it was decided that having chowder they would - after their chowder - get up and march around the lodge. Since you can't march without music the society then voted to form a marching band and before long they became the Cherryfield Chowder and Marching Society.
http://storytellers.maine.com/newspapers.html
The article isn't an actual cite of the phrase from the 1870's, but it certainly implies that the phrase was used back then. If you want more, you could try e-mailing the author as indicated in the link.
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2002, 10:04 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Squink Methinks you got "whooshed" by the story John McDonald told in that link. The fellow writes a humor column and has a humorous talk show on Sat. mornings. I'll detail it further if you need.

There never was such a society in Cherryfield.

So now we're back to: Is there a cite to a chowder and marching society prior to ca. 1942?
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  #15  
Old 10-31-2002, 11:10 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Damn, the article being from admitted New England storytellers, I did wonder a bit. Further digging revealed several claims that the term dates to the 1800's, but nothing definite shows up before ~1940.
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  #16  
Old 11-01-2002, 10:19 AM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Squink
Further digging revealed several claims
Claims or clams?

The 1920s Algonquin gang were dubbed the "Thanatopsis Literary and Inside Straight Club" by F.P. Adams, in a reference to Sinclair Lewis's novel Main Street. Although the famous Will Cotton caricature painting is labelled "The Thanatopsis Pleasure and Inside Straight Club."

In their endless self-referential writings, some of the members substituted "chowder" somewhere in there. Let me look for a cite.

At least two of those guys, Benchley and Sherwood, were New Englanders.
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2002, 10:51 AM
plnnr plnnr is offline
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One variation on the phenomenon here in VA is a "shad planking." Up until recently, women were not welcome.
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  #18  
Old 11-03-2002, 08:57 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Well, thanks to Barry Popik(You know, "Windy City" and "Big Apple"? Yeah, that guy) we can cite it from 1939. I don't know how that squares with the comic strip origin.

Mr. Popik dug up: 2 June 1939, NYTimes, p.37.
Lee Gould of the branch chapter formed by the Elizabethan Chowder and Marching Society at Harvard University will lead an open forum on the relative merits of blasting operations.
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2010, 06:32 AM
JTOnCa JTOnCa is offline
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I realize I'm about 8 years late to this particular party, but I was trying to figure out what exactly a "Marching & Chowder Club" was, and I stumbled upon this thread. I figured I'd share this link that I came across, wherein during a 1974 interview, one Dr. Shaw Livermore claims to have been a member of the Buffalo Marching & Chowder Club from 1934 to 1940. From the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.
http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/livermores.htm
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2010, 07:08 AM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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But the true burning question is: Has samclem sobered up?
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  #21  
Old 12-28-2010, 07:49 AM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmagirl View Post
But the true burning question is: Has samclem sobered up?
But now he only drinks in moderation!
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  #22  
Old 12-28-2010, 06:40 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmagirl View Post
But the true burning question is: Has samclem sobered up?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
But now he only drinks in moderation! *
Even though 50+ dopers reported your *post and suggested you be banned for that one, I'll spare your life since it's the Season.

To answer the first question--nope, I'm drinking wine right now, just not trying to multi-task.

While I haven't had much time to revisit the origins, we certainly have many more tools(online databases +Google Books) than we used to. I'm off Friday. I see a project ahead.
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  #23  
Old 12-28-2010, 07:56 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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Also from a 1939 Federal Writers Project "Guide to New York City"

Quote:
The HOTEL ALGONQUIN, associated with the theatrical and literary life of the city, is east of Sixth Avenue on Forty-fourth Street. Under the management of Frank Case this French Renaissance structure has served as headquarters for the Round Table, the Thanatopsis and Literary Inside Straight Clubs, and the Forty- fourth Street Chowder and Marching Club.

Last edited by Captain Amazing; 12-28-2010 at 07:56 PM..
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  #24  
Old 12-28-2010, 08:10 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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For a quick start, here's one from 1935:

Boston and the Boston legend by Lucius Morris Beebe, Edward Howard Suydam - 1935
Quote:
Professor John Livingston Lowes of Harvard has been no stranger to its board, and at one time a mysterious undergraduate organization known as the Michael Mullins Chowder and Marching Society put in a not too reticent appearance, ...
And Technology review: Volume 37
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Association of Class Secretaries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Alumni Association, MIT Alumni/ae Association - 1934
Quote:
He was discovered by Fales and your Secretary, and they desired to initiate him to the Kennebunk Beach Chowder and Marching Club.
That appears to be the earliest of that exact phrase, but it becomes fairly common in the late 1930s.

What seems apparant is that the wording is a later humorous retelling of the actual name.

See Amherst graduates' quarterly, Volume 17, 1928

Quote:
The Young Mens Marching Club and Chowder Society of the class of 1908 gathered around the chowder bowl at the Amherst Club Stadium on Friday, September 30, 1927.
Merchandising week: Volume 18 - Page 124 1917 - Full view
Quote:
'Twas th' next mornin' afther a hard night with th' Killarney Chowder an' Marching Club av th' First Ward.
And the ur-site for now:

Fifth year record, class of 1906, Princeton university - Page 327
Princeton University. Class of 1906 - 1912 - 357 pages - Full view
Quote:
1906 CHOWDER AND MARCHING CLUB FIRST GRAND ANNUAL SUMMER CONGRESS OF SPORTS Outdoor Elixir!
Have fun doing some deeper research.
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