Reconstructing a Transatlantic Business Venture: Aladár Pataky’s Unknown Manuscript from 1927


  • Balázs Venkovits



Aladár Pataky, Tokaj wine, Prohibition, Bécsi Borház, Wine House, Vienna, United States, New York, Canada, travel, manuscript


This paper reconstructs the story of a so far unknown manuscript, a handwritten, personal account detailing a 1927 journey to the United States and Canada with the primary purpose of selling Hungarian wine as part of a more extensive international venture. The article introduces the research that led to the identification of the writer of the manuscript –written on sheets of paper from a Canadian hotel – and outlines the background of a fascinating business project, thereby positioning the text not only as a unique example to be studied with the tools of microhistory but also placing it in the broader, transatlantic historical and political environment of the time. The text is also studied and presented as a piece of travel writing that provides unique insights into Hungarian perceptions of North America in the 1920s and the Hungarian images of Canada and the United States.






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