The Automat
The History, Recipes, and Allure of Horn & Hardart's Masterpiece

Lorraine B. Diehl and Marianne Hardart
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Reviews / Press

Before the Big Mac: Horn & Hardart Automats -by Valerie Wingfield, Manuscripts and Archives Division December 8, 2010


From Publishers Weekly
In this wonderfully nostalgic trip, readers are taken to a place where nickels slipped in a slot yield food from a little window in the wall; where drinks pour from spigots in that same wall; where simple nutritious meals and modest but satisfying desserts are the order of the day; where a superb cup of coffee is always available. Philadelphia and New York were lucky enough to have these cafeterias, which opened in 1902 and closed in 1991. Diehl (The Late Great Pennsylvania Station) and Hardart (great-granddaughter of Automat co-founder Frank Hardart) trace the development of this unique institution-a democratic eating establishment where one could sit at a table with royalty, school kids, the homeless, businessmen, housewives or show biz names. Founders Joe Horn and Frank Hardart knew the appeal of their "nickel cup of coffee" and "ten cent piece of pie." Recipes from the Art Deco chrome and glass servers include staples such as Cream Spinach, Baked Beans, Pumpkin Pie, Beef and Noodles with Burgundy Sauce and Mashed Turnips. The authors include interviews, archival photos, and chapters on the various radio and television shows Horn & Hardart inspired.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.