A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 14, 2011
Tip Jar

Many sandwich shops, coffee houses and ice cream shops have a “tip jar” (or “tip jug” or “tip can") near the cash register so that satisfied customers can add a gratuity for the service that was provided. The term “tip jar” has been cited in print since at least 1965.

A popular saying on many tip jars is “Tipping is not a city in China.”


Phil The Tip Jar
Know your clientele, if they are up for a joke, you can try a tip jar saying like:

•Tipping is not a City in China, or
•Tipping It Is Not Just For Cows Anymore

If they are more subdued, you may want to stick to the tip jar sayings:

•Tipping is Good Karma, or
•Phil The Tip Jar

10 September 1965, Omaha (NE) World Herald, “Ragtime Dollar a Customer’s Idea,” pg. 31, col. 3:
“I was working at a place in Denver that didn’t have any place for a tip jar,” Bill said. “Now the jar not only is a source of profit for the performer, but it also helps him establish contact with the audience. The customers will come up and request a number.”

Google News Archive
27 August 1971, Rome (GA) News-Tribune, “Love cut, scar left” by Eddie Barker, pg. 4, col. 5:
And with what seemed like a finality that would defy fate the barmaid went to the “tip jar,” took out two quarters, loaded the juke box with sentimental ballads, and then stationed herself before the solitary drinker.

16 September 1972, Tuscon (AZ) Daily Citizen, “‘Bugs’ Bradford Found Bugs Bunny a Hard Act to Follow” by Jeanne Bradford, pg. 5, col. 2:
Still, the amount to be made dancing topless has declined from the days when it was a novel form of entertainment. To compensate, it has become customary for dancers to circulate a tip jar among the customers.

Google Books
Someday Soon
By Vicki Tyler
New York, NY: Ballantine Books
1985
Pg. 103:
“Oh, and here’s the tip jar. We share all our tips.”

“You mean people actually leave you money in here?” I asked. How embarrassing!

“Of course! Believe me, Annie, it comes in handy. Old Demarco only pays minimum wage, you know.”

Google Books
I Stand Corrected:
More On Language

By William Safire
New York, NY: Avon
1986, ©1984.
Pg. 53:
The spit cup must never be confused with the cup, which is the bartender’s tip container, also called the tip jar, a rocks glass often placed near the cash register.

New York (NY) Post
Tip-jar madness takes city
By SUSANNAH CAHALAN
Last Updated: 1:52 PM, April 11, 2010
Posted: 3:24 AM, April 11, 2010
(...)
Tip cups—that ubiquitous scourge of New York City—can now be found at your movie-theater concession counter, your local McDonald’s, your favorite sidewalk vendor and in your gym locker room.

Worse, many bear obnoxious sayings like, “Tipping isn’t a city in China,” or “Momma Needs a New Pair of Shoes.”

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
Austin’s tip jars are rich in personality
By Dale Roe
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Updated: 6:09 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, 2011
Published: 11:49 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, 2011
They say the eyes are the window to the soul. “They” are probably lousy tippers.

A quick tour of Austin coffeehouses, sandwich shops and ice cream joints reveals that the tip jar is the true window to the soul. That’s why funky, “Austin original” joints such as Thundercloud sport messy and unique receptacles for pocket change and spare bills that are as cluttered and full of visual irony as the inked arms of the employees who create them. The photos, clippings and refrigerator magnet poetry-esque text taped to the plastic containers — former home to gloppy gallons of condiments or passels of peppers — are as humorous and offbeat as the sub shops’ clientele. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • (0) Comments • Monday, November 14, 2011 • Permalink