The Club Sandwich is a sandwich with cooked chicken breast and bacon, along with juicy ripe tomatoes and crisp lettuce layered between three slices of toasted bread with mayonnaise.
The origin of this sandwich, which is most often associated with hotels around the world, is all a matter of speculation and guesswork. The name probably comes because of its popularity at resorts and country clubs. It definitely existed in the United States by the late 19th century. The Club Sandwich was the favorite of former King Edward VIII of England and his wife, Wallis Simpson. In fact, she took great pride in preparing this sandwich.
1894 – The most popular theory is that the sandwich first appeared in 1894 at the famous Saratoga Club-House (an exclusive gentlemen only gambling house in upstate Saratoga Springs, New York) where the potato chips was born. Originally called Morrissey's Club House, were neither women nor locals were permitted in the gambling rooms. In 1894, Richard Canfield purchased the club:
According the 1940 New York Writer's Project book called New York: A Guide to the Empire State:
The Sandwich – a short history
The sandwich, which is most popular with world-wide eaters, functions as a noun or a verb and usually prefers to have its name pronounced as SAND wich. Besides the more obvious occupation of being something edible between two or more slices of bread, metaphorically speaking, it also likes to squeeze in between two other people, places, things, materials, etc.; as, he is willing to sandwich an appointment in between two other meetings or her car was sandwiched between two other cars in the parking lot.
The word sandwich that we use today was born in London during the very late hours one night in 1762 when an English nobleman, John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), was too busy gambling to stop for a meal even though he was hungry for some food. The legend goes that he ordered a waiter to bring him roast-beef between two slices of bread. The Earl was able to continue his gambling while eating his snack; and from that incident, we have inherited that quick-food product that we now know as the sandwich. He apparently had the meat put on slices of bread so he wouldn’t get his fingers greasy while he was playing cards. It’s strange that the name of this sex fiend should have gone down in history connected to such an innocent article of diet.
The Earl of Sandwich, the sandwich, and the town of Sandwich
The title, Earl of “Sandwich”, comes from Old English (O.E.) Sandwic, and literally means “sand village”, “Sandy Place”, or “Place on the Sand”. The old English wic is a loan word from Latin vicus, “hamlet”, which also gives us the word vicinity. The first recorded mention of the town was around 640 A.D.
According to Sue Fielder in her Open Sandwich site (reproduced here with her permission):
Hereditary English titles can be confusing. The family of the Earls of Sandwich has no real connection to the town itself, only the title. Apparently, the First Earl, Edward Montagu, originally intended to take the title of the Earl of Portsmouth—this might have been changed to honor the town of Sandwich, because the fleet he was commanding in 1660 was lying off the coast of Sandwich, before it sailed to bring Charles II back to England.
It is generally thought that neither the town of Sandwich, nor the word “sandwich” as an item of food, has any reference to each other, only with John Montagu, who happened to have the title. A sandwich could just as easily have been called a “portsmouth” if the First Earl, Edward Montagu, had not changed his mind.
The Fourth Earl of Sandwich was considered one of the most immoral men of his time.
John Montagu is said to have been immoral in both his private and public life, and gambling was just one of his lesser vices. He was the First Lord of the Admiralty, incompetent and very corrupt. In fact, it is very likely that he indirectly contributed to the success of the American Revolution because of his malfeasance as the chief admiral of the English navy. According to Jane Polley, “Sandwich managed to reduce the British Navy to a state of total confusion around the time that the American Revolution started—a contribution at least as significant as the munchable lunch.”
The Earl was a member of a group of Satan Worshippers called “The Friars of St. Francis of Wycombe”, also known as “The Hell Fire Club”. He boasted that he specialized in seducing virgins because he enjoyed “the corruption of innocence, for its own sake.” Sandwich was the executive officer of the Club and was described as being “as mischievous as a monkey and as lecherous as a goat.” He was also called “the most universally disliked man in England.” According to Daniel Mannix in his The Hell Fire Club, “In addition to being anti-religious, Sandwich was violently anti-democratic. He despised the general public and opposed any public figure who tried to get a better break for the common man. Because of his friendship with the King and his control of the English Navy, Sandwich was one of the most important men of the time and exerted a profound influence on the destiny of the British Empire.”