Awakenings: The All-American Diner

See on Scoop.itTraveling Through Time

A classic of classics, like baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet…that’s the all-American diner! Often epitomized with an exterior of stainless steel, the diner is unique in its architecture. Then, of course, there is the interior: a casual atmosphere, a counter, stools and service area along a back wall.

The Rosebud Diner, (below), is a restored 1941 Worcester Lunch Car #773, as it appeared in 2012. Somerville, MA

The Bendix Diner in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, is an example of Art Deco style and neon signage.

But, how did it all get started and by whom?

Walter Scott, a part-time pressman and type compositor in Providence, Rhode Island,founded the first diner. It all started around 1858 with Scott supplementing his income by selling sandwiches and coffee from a basket.

Newspaper night workers welcomed the services and by 1872, he had developed a very lucrative business. So much so, he quit his printing work and sold food at night from a horse-drawn covered express wagon parked outside the Providence Journal newspaper office. Walter Scott unknowingly inspired the birth of what would become one of America’s most recognized icons — the diner.

Empower the Present. Are diners still around today?

The interest in the American Diner continues today. Just ask Guy Fieri of Drive-ins, Diners and Dives! A significant number of vintage diners have been rescued from demolition and relocated to new sites in the United States and Europe. Manufacturers of diner structures are experiencing new orders or remodeling projects in a retro style.

Photo credit: Marilyn Armstrong, author of The 12-Foot Teepee. You can visit Marilyn at her blog, Serendipity, where you will be enlightened by her writing, nature, photography, history, arts, nostalgia, humor and so much more!

Marilyn Armstrong‘s insight:

Diners are uniquely American, our culture incarnate.

See on awakenings2012.blogspot.com



Categories: American history, History

Tags: , , ,

13 replies

  1. One word about Diners, Benjamin. PICKLES!!!

    Like

  2. Had a Greek-American friend in college whose family owned a diner. She said that like Chinese restaurants, Greek-American diners provided a safe, simple way to bring family members and good friends into the USA without the quotas, hassles, and expense of legal immigration.

    The history of the American diner is a grand tale, beginning in trackside food stands for those who built the railways.

    The diners also offered a means for relatively easy entry into the restaurant business. Since Greeks and other “non-American-looking” did generally not have entry (for financial or cultural reasons) into the mainstream restaurant business, they used old railroad and trolley cars to set up in. The railroad- and trolley car builders soon realized what was happening and began making transport cars outfitted specifically for use as diners.

    And in this, I suspect, were the roots of the mobile home and RV industries today.

    I loved diners SO much that the only reason I ever even thought of going to grad school was so that I could be rewarded (with a degree) for reading and writing about something I loved so much. Back then it was hard to find anything about diners — our culture just took them for granted, I guess, with the exception of New York, where they are appropriately revered as cultural icons.

    Like

    • In recent years. diners have been recognized as the unique Americana they are. No place else has anything like them, unless you want to count street vendors which has a tradition going back to the beginning of human civilization. But diners and the diner experience, copious amounts of ordinary food at modest prices, intended to serve the working people of the country is different. There are always, everywhere, cheap restaurants to serve the less affluent … but diners are not restaurants. They are diners. They look different. They have that smell, look, feel And I do love them. They are finally coming back in Massachusetts. Lots of old ones are being rehabbed and put back into service which I think is great.

      Miss Mendon is alive and back in Mendon where she began. She’s my next photo excursion!

      On Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM, SERENDIPITY

      Like

  3. Fortunately, there are a few good All American diner type places around here. Comfort food plus old fashioned comfort atmosphere. I love the pic above.

    Like

    • For a while, there were almost no diners in Mass, but in the last couple of decades, they’ve been restoring them all over the state. We’ve got a few good ones around here, locally. We don’t have much, but we have diners 🙂 Love’em!

      On Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 10:07 PM, SERENDIPITY

      Like

  4. I like Diners too as you know. Gimme a nice pice of Apple Pie a la mode please?

    Like

  5. Thank you, Marilyn! You notice I just had to plug your book! Hugs! BTW Is Gabe your Garry? Um-m-m-m? What have I been reading? Where?

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. No Shame in Her Game | Hand of Ananke
  2. Meet Miss Mendon: Classic Diner of Distinction | SERENDIPITY
  3. Daily Prompt: Say Your Name — My name is Marilyn and I’m alive. | SERENDIPITY

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Just another WordPress site

The Small Dog

Life from the Tail End

Cee's Chronic Illness Sisterhood

Peer support and hope for women with Chronic Illness and their support team.

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.

musingsofanoldfart

Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

The HOBBLEDEHOY

I use the best, I use the rest

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns

sparksfromacombustiblemind

EMBERS FROM SOMEONE DOGGEDLY TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL...

The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writing, and More

THE SHINBONE STAR

NO LONGER ENCUMBERED BY ANY SENSE OF FAIR PLAY, EX-JOURNALISTS RETURN TO ACTIVE DUTY TO FIGHT THE TRUMPIAN MENACE!

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World

ScienceSwitch

Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

A Day In The Life

People, Places, Nature, LIFE!

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

%d bloggers like this: