Horn & Hardart Automats in Philadelphia

Horn & Hardart opened their first automat on June 9, 1902. The history of these restaurants and its impact on Philadelphia is beautifully captured in an article by Dr. Stephen Nepa in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. The following section is from that 2013 article: Beloved by generations of diners and immortalized in art, song, cinema,…

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Sambo’s 1975 Directory

Sambo’s. The casual dining chain with the controversial name opened on June 17, 1957 in Santa Barbara, California.Sam Battistone Jr. & Newell Bohnett (the restaurant name is a combination of the Sam and the Bo from Bohnett) established the restaurant with one goal in mind – cheap 10 cent coffee and a good breakfast. They…

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Downtowner and Rowntowner Motor Inn Directory – Fall, 1968

Founded 1958, in Memphis, Tennessee, the Downtowner Corporation built and operated all of its own motels. Every Dowtowner Motor Inn was located downtown and offered a no-fills, cheap place to stay for the night. The Downtowner locations were strategically placed near a large hotel or convention center in hopes that business would spill over in their direction.…

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Imperial House Motels Directory

The Imperial House was a small chain of motels located mostly in Ohio. There were never more than 10 locations as far as I can tell. However, they were easy to spot with their customary crowned arch sign with two lions climbing a pedestal. This brochure is undated but most likely around 1965-1967. The chain fizzled out…

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