Horn & Hardart

January 4, 2016

Horn & Hardart Automats: Redefining lunchtime, dining on a dime

In the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s Automats were a New York City dining staple for a hard-working lunch crowd, a modernist icon for a boundless machine-age future. At their height there were over three dozen in the city, serving 800,000 people a day. And nearly everyone who actually experienced Automats in their heyday says the same thing: They never forgot the thrill of being a kid at the Automat. Created by Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart in Philadelphia in 1902, coin-operated Automats were lovingly-designed Art Deco temples to modern efficiency. Sleek steel and glass vending machine grids displayed sandwiches and main dishes as well as desserts and sides, each in their own little boxes, square and even, clean and well-lit. You put a coin in the slot, opened the door and removed your food—which was reportedly quite good, as the founders took terrific pride in their craft.
What was it about the experience that made for such a lasting memory?
February 27, 2015

Heartbeat Urban Drum to Become a ‘Heartseat;’ 53 New Citi Bike Stations for Brooklyn

Stereotank’s heart-shaped urban drum in Times Square known as Heartbeat will turn into a “heartseat.” [Inhabitat] A Kickstarter campaign is raising funds for a documentary film about Horn & Hardart’s iconic Automat. [Gothamist] Mapping the 53 new Citi Bike stations coming to Williamsburg and Greenpoint. [BK Paper] A small shop in Ridgewood, Queens is the reason NYC […]