I thought it was interesting to see the evolution of design through the Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Banquet menus. The typography and supporting illustration gradually becomes more complex in a span of only 7 years. Just looking at the 1881 menu next to the 1887 menu, they look like there from two completely different eras.
All images are from the New York Public Library’s Digital Gallery. If you’d like to see the insides and backs of these menus, have a look at the original sources: 1881 menu | 1882 menu | 1884 menu | 1887 menu