06/25/2012 01:52 pm ET

'Lunch Hour NYC' Exhibit At New York Public Library Shows 150 Of Lunchtime

The New York Public Library's new exhibit places the focus on what we imagine is many Americans' favorite time of day: Lunchtime.

"Lunch Hour NYC" takes visitors through 150 years of lunch in the Big Apple -- quick-lunch, lunch at home, charitable lunch, power lunch -- all influenced by the city's fast pace, which the exhibit argues shaped the modern concept of lunch as we know it. It opened Friday and will run through Feb. 17, 2013.

A release explains the importance of understanding lunchtime:

From kitchen tables to cafeterias, oysters to Jamaican beef patties, the changes in lunch reflect demographic shifts, economic development, and the city's historic appetite for new foods.

Items on display include menus from landmark eateries like Schrafft’s, Delmonico’s, and Forum of the Twelve Caesars; Noah Webster's personal copy of his 1841 dictionary, which includes an entry for "lunch;" an authentic reconstructed Automat machine; famous caricatures that once hung on the walls of Sardi's and more.

Get a sneak peek of the exhibit in the gallery below.



‘Lunch Hour NYC’ at the New York Public Library