Classical cars, including the history of the great classical automobiles
November 20th, 2006

The American Diner, a Protected Species

An American Diner

Thumbing through a copy of Octane magazine, I came upon a short but fascinating article on that colorful American motoring icon, the roadside Diner. Like most people I’d almost forgotten that Diners still exist, yet hundreds have been preserved and are being added to the National Register of Historic Places… and new ones are still being built. In the 1930′s and 1940′s, when auto-mobility was becoming a way of life for North Americans, these roadside eating places could be found everywhere, dispensing affordable food with service and hospitality. But it was the architecture that made them so memorable. As streamlining became the fashion, writes Octane, “stainless steel, glass bricks, Formica, Naugahyde, and neon catapulted the Diner from the Victorian Age into the Modern Age.” Art deco added to the distinctive designs. If you’d like to know more, there’s a fascinating Diner Museum containing artifacts and Diner history. A book by Richard Gutman called The American Diner Then and Now, with dozens of black & white and color photos, is available from Amazon.com in Paperback for $24.95. Silver Diner is a chain of 12 locations begun in 1987, each faithful to the classic Diner in concept and appearance. That’s one of their beauties in the photo.


by Philip Powell | Posted in Romantic Notions | No Comments » |

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