One blog I follow is Hankering for History at http://www.hankeringforhistory.com/?wref=bif which recently included a post about “an article from The Atlantic. The article, Cracker Barrel’s Oddly Authentic Version of American History, is an informative piece about Cracker Barrel, the institution of the general store, and the importance of Cracker Barrel’s acquisition of antiques. When you stop in your local Cracker Barrel, it is impossible to miss the large collection of apparent knickknacks. However, to my disbelief, these knickknacks are authentic antiques. Here is an excerpt from the article. I suggest reading the article in its entirety.
The antiques, according to [Cracker Barrel], are real ones. They come from across the U.S. to the Cracker Barrel Decor Warehouse in Lebanon, Tennessee. The company has a mock restaurant that it uses to plan the decor of every single location; designers arrange the elements for each new store in a way that looks right, make a plan (with photographs) for where the objects should go, and send it off with those objects to the new location.
The New York Times reported in 2002 that the restaurants’ demand for old objects had grown so much that American antique dealers were struggling to source them.
So maybe next time you are in a Cracker Barrel, take the opportunity to look around and check out the antiques that adorn the restaurant’s wall.