This is a photo of an "automatic restaurant" in Stockholm in 1905. If anyone knows anything about this kind of restaurant I'd like to learn more. It seems they were quite popular one hundred years ago.

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Comment by Paul Marlowe on February 7, 2011 at 2:32pm

Also known as automats, they were still operating in NYC in the seventies (the 1970s). They were sort of like big walk-in vending machines, where you could insert coins to buy food:

Comment by Anna Chen on February 7, 2011 at 11:33pm


Much fancier than the modern vending machines, I have to say.

Comment by Kevin Mowrer on February 20, 2011 at 12:07pm
I don't know if this experience is old enough for your research but my Grandmother actually worked at a very old Automat in Cleveland around 1914.  It had been established in the late 1800's.  What was fascinating was her descriptions of what went on behind the many small glass doors.  There was a full kitchen, cooks, dishwasher and all.  It was like a secret world inside a wall sized vending machine.  Only busboys moved through the restaurant.  In a way it was an early form of fast food but with a kind of hominess and pre-coffee shop comfort from her descriptions.  At the time, doctors and other busy but well off folks liked it a lot.  The glass wall of many little doors was a race barrier as well.
Comment by Anna Chen on February 24, 2011 at 10:45am


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