Stopped in the town of Wytheville, VA for lunch yesterday. Wandered around a little bit, and spotted this old rusty barber shop sign. Went down the side street to get pictures of it, found that it was open and there were no customers. So I went in. The barber, still in the traditional white smock, asked what I wanted. I explained that I was into the whole ’30s/’40s thing, and that that’s how I wanted it. He responded, “so just a normal haircut, then”, and set to work, working almost entirely with the electric clippers. He worked without the length attachments on the clippers, and only used the comb to hold the hair away from my head, not as a guide. Great haircut, neat experience, and only $6.
Some more from the archives, in no particular order.
Short Stop Diner, now Irene’s pupusas. Wheaton, MD
It’s a 1956 Kullman. The neon was nearly as big as the diner itself, but has since disappeared.
Diner- Front Royal, VA
It’s a 1956 Mountain View. Front Royal used to be a hotbed of diners. It had this one, Nick’s Good Food diner, the Do-nut dinette, and another ’50s stainless model. The other three have been knocked down, and this one’s now a used car dealer.
Frost Diner- Warrenton, VA
The Frost is a 1955 O’Mahony.
Tastee Diner- Silver Spring, MD
Tastee Diner- Laurel, MD
a rare Comac brand diner
Bud’s Broiler – New Orleans, LA
Summit Diner– Somerset, PA
Moody’s Diner- Waldoboro, ME
The Milford is a 1956 Fodero. It was originally part of the same regional chain as the Hollywood Diner, just up the road in Dover, which is from about the same era. Apparently, there were originally six in that chain. The Milford has not fared quite as well as the Hollywood in terms of preservation, but that didn’t affect the food, which was excellent. From the vestibule to the right has been covered over, with a large addition added. The interior is recognizable, but much has been changed or is missing. The owner was a true diner guy, however, and seemed to really appreciate what he had despite its condition.
I bought this online with the intention of sharing it here. I’ve typed the copy up for easier reading. Enjoy!
If there is anything that people are more fastidious about than the food they eat, it is the environment in which it is served. Because of this fact the modern Jerry O’Mahony dining car fulfils one of the most insistent demands of the general public.
A modern Jerry O’Mahony dining car is more than just a casual eating place, – it’s the kind of place that people enthuse about and return to frequently.
Public approval of Jerry O’Mahony dining cars is more than a passing fad. The fact that the dining car offers its guests rapid service, cleanliness, comfort, and an opportunity to see the food prepared, justifies the rapid rate of increase in dining car patronage.
Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are recognized by every community as a distinct addition to their particular neighbourhood.
Owners of Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are prosperous business men. Proven figures show them to have an actual net income of $5,000 – $10,000 per year.
The success of the modern dining car is firmly established. Take advantage of this opportunity to attain financial independence.
** The modern dining car interior – monarch type, Bakelite ceiling and stainless steel back wall **
OPPORTUNITY AWAITS YOU
Present day business conditions are more favourable for dining car owners than ever before. Be your own boss!
People have become “dining car conscious”. They are seeking modern, sanitary, streamlined food service, and are aware that a dining car is the best place to get it. Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are a rapidly growing institution.
The dining car field does more than assure you a comfortable income. It gives you an opportunity to establish your own business. Many owners of Jerry O’Mahony dining cars who started out with just this thought in mind are now successful business men.
Desirable locations are plentiful. Hundreds of miles of new highways and innumerable towns throughout the country await the establishment of these modern eating places.
Study the dining car field. Assure your independence; – earn a larger income than most salaried men ever receive! Place yourself among the more prosperous members of your community.
Statistics prove that the initial investment in the dining car business will be returned to you yearly.
** Victory Type. Size: Ten feet, eight inches by forty feet. * Equipped with sliding doors. Delivered via freight. *
AMOUNT OF PROFITS
Twenty-five to thirty cents of every dollar received by the owners of Jerry O’Mahony dining cars is clear profit.
Periodic surveys among owners of dining cars prove the average well managed Jerry O’Mahony dining car yields a profit of 25% to 30% on gross sales.
A modern Jerry O’Mahony dining car, in an average location, will serve between 500 and 700 customers a day. Statistics reveal that each person eating in one of these diners spends on the average of twenty to twenty-five cents.
Assume your Jerry O’Mahony dining car serves 500 customers a day, and the sales average is twenty cents. Your daily receipts will be one hundred dollars. With this basis of figuring, conservative though it is, your weekly profit, after deducting the cost of food, help, and overhead, will approximate one hundred and seventy-five dollars.
Study these figures carefully, – see for yourself how YOU can earn $5,000 to $10,000 a year operating a modern Jerry O’Mahony dining car.
** Interior, Victory Type. Size: Ten feet eight inches by forty feet, equipped with ventilators. Freight delivery. **
YOU CAN OWN A MODERN JERRY O’MAHONY DINING CAR
A small amount of capital will establish you as the owner of a prosperous dining car business.
Many competent people, ambitious to start businesses of their own, are handicapped by the lack of sufficient cash. The Jerry O’Mahony Purchase Plan is a straight-forward arrangement of deferred payments, so regulated that you, as a good operator, can easily make the payments out of your dining car’s profit without working any hardship upon yourself. You pay as you earn, and after a short time you become the sole owner of a highly profitable dining car business. The dining car pays for itself.
Of course, many people have sufficient capital to buy their dining cars outright; but if you haven’t, no matter what your capital may be, investigate the Jerry O’Mahony purchase plan. Let us review your particular problem.
** Interior, monarch type, Size 10’8” by 45’. Booths at end in addition to counter. Shipped by freight*
HOW TO GET STARTED
For thirty years Jerry O’Mahony, Inc., has been helping people get started in the dining car business. Our engineers and experts, rich in their knowledge of dining car technique, are available to help you start and succeed in this rapidly growing field. They will advise you in the choice of your location, recommend the type and size dining car best suited to your needs and suggest methods of operation and finance.
We cordially invite you to visit our plant to see how the modern Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are constructed. Come in and talk with us. You will benefit by our vast store of facts pertaining to your success in the dining car business.
Arrange a visit at your convenience. A brief note to our Service Department will bring you further information.
Remember, you can earn from $5,000 to $10,000 a year operating a Jerry O’Mahony dining car. The time to start is NOW!
*** Interior, Monarch type, size fifteen feet by forty feet. Showing kitchen and two toilets ***
OPENING MADE SIMPLE
Preparations for opening a modern Jerry O’Mahony dining car are simple. Four connections are all that are necessary. When the gas, water, electricity and sewer are connected, your dining car is ready for use.
Provisions for efficient ventilation assure the proper de-humidification and elimination of all odors from our dining cars, – a vital factor in all good eating places.
Every individual item of equipment selected for use in Jerry O’Mahony dining cars is chosen only after extensive research for durability and efficiency.
Built to stand many times the stress and strain of transportation and daily use, modern Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are ready to use shortly after delivery.
Consult our engineers. Their advice concerning the establishment of successful dining cars is important to your success as a dining car owner. Benefit by the years of experience that have mad the opening of a Jerry O’Mahony dining car a simple matter.
*** Monarch type with gothics and deck sash. Size, fifteen feet by forty feet***
COUNTER AND BOOTHS
The counter and boots are modern in every detail. The counter provides seats for twenty-six customers. Seventy- four may be comfortably seated in booths. The efficient arrangement of the modern equipment in the back bar speeds service throughout the dining car.
THE WORLD’S LARGEST DINING CAR
The Fairview diner is the world’s largest dining car. Eighty feet in length and sixteen feet in width, it is equipped to servie one hundred persons at one time. This dining car is air conditioned throughout. Its streamlined beauty, unusual capacity and extraordinary ease of operating is a true endorsement of our slogan: “In Our Line We Lead the World.”
The DINING ROOM
This spacious dining room accommodates seventy-four persons. The furnishings are especially arranged to facilitate the service of parties of six, eight, ten and twelve people. An ideal arrangement for dining cars catering to business men or family groups.
SIZES and TYPES
Jerry O’Mahony, Inc., builds dining cars to meet every individual requirement. Most popular among the many types of modern Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are the MONARCH and VICTORY. Modern in every particular, these dining cars are creating a sensation throughout the country.
Both types have porcelain-enameled exteriors, trimmed with stainless steel. Bakelite or stainless steel doors and extruded Aluminum window sashes with Alumilite screens provide a sparkling exterior that requires no painting or redecorating.
The streamlined beauty of the exterior of any Jerry O’Mahony dining car is greatly enhanced by rounded corners; a feature developed by our engineering department with a view toward added attractiveness and durability.
Both types of dining cars have ceramic tile floors and Bakelite ceilings. Side walls are of mosaic tile trimmed with lustrous Mexican mahogany.
Every detail of these dining cars clearly demonstrates the careful planning and craftsmanship for which Jerry O’Mahony, Inc., is famous.
*** Monarch type, size fifteen feet by forty feet. Enamel and stainless steel exterior. ***
STYLED TO SAVE
Jerry O’Mahony dining cars embody more than just the practical equipment for food service. They have an appealing architecture and a distinctive design which is attractive and will remain so throughout the years. Our designers carefully avoid the dangerous extremes of fads, favouring always the lines and decorative mediums which are of lasting good taste.
Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are permanent assets. Our thirty years experience in the styling of dining cars has given Jerry O’Mahony dining cars the permanence of appeal that assures operators an enduring, profit-making investment. Renovating or redecorating is seldom if ever necessary; resulting in extremely low up-keel cost and a minimum of depreciation. Many operators of Jerry O’Mahony dining cars, after receiving their original investment many times over, have turned in their diners on larger, newer dining cars after as long as twenty-five years of service. Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are styled to save.
*** Interior, Monarch type. Size, fifteen feet wide by forty feet long. Equipped for booth service. ***
There’s the Westbury diner in the foreground, I’d assume it’s the same diner as this one. Also identifiable is the Franklin Diner. Note the rounded corner monarchs and the squared corner, stained glass windowed monarchs side by side.
IN OUR LINE WE LEAD THE WORLD
Jerry O’Mahony, Inc. Operates the largest, most up-to-the-minute dining car factory in the world.
Large though our plant is, all building operations are so co-ordinated that every detail in the construction of a Jerry O’Mahony dining car is carefully supervised by one of the founders of this firm.
Many of the men who build Jerry O’Mahony dining cars have “come up from the ranks” in our employ. After years of apprenticeship these men have become craftsmen unexcelled in their trade.
To build a dining car for you, that is to last for thirty years, and to incorporate, as we do, all of the modern improvements, we employ the ultimate in craftsmanship, and use the best materials obtainable. Modern machinery and up-to-date methods assure lasting construction.
Come, visit our plant. Watch our craftsmen at work, notice the materials, – the tools they use. See for yourself why we can say, “In Our Line We Lead the World”.
Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are built to last for thirty years! In the selection of materials, the first consideration is durability. Only the finest material is used in construction.
The steel structure and the fabrication of West Virginian oak is the result of years of research in the building of better dining cars.
The exterior, which is porcelain-enameled, trimmed with copper or stainless steel, perfectly insulates our dining cars against moisture and imparts the lustrous beauty for which jerry O’Mahony dining cars have become famous.
The interior of every Jerry O’Mahony dining car is designed both for beauty and practicality. Floors of ceramic tile and side walls and counter step of mosaic tile in color combinations that harmonize with the Bakelite ceiling and Mexican mahogany trim, make a beautiful, long lasting interior. Alumilite window sash, stainless steel equipment and backwall, and the built in Bakelite hood all combine to make Jerry O’Mahony dining cars the most attractive and easily maintained of eating places.
Coffee is your most important item. With this in view we have designed an economical, automatic coffee maker that achieves the ultimate in the consistent brewing of good coffee. The self controlled features and our drip system assure the brewing of good coffee at all times, with a minimum of effort. This coffee maker is thermostatically controlled.
Easily accessible, the stainless steel steam table or electric food container in each Jerry O’Mahony dining car is complete with insets, covers, roll cover and double-walled warmer. Thermostatic control permits the prolonged storing of cooked food without shrinkage or loss of flavour.
Storage cabinet and display case
Modern Jerry O’Mahony dining cars are equipped with a large, modernistic, stainless steel refrigerator. In addition to this, a new feature in our dining cars is the reach-in storage and display case. Centrally located behind the counter, its accessibility speeds service. Equipped with stainless baine-marie pans and an overhead glass display case, with sliding doors and slanting mirrors, this auxiliary refrigerator keeps your supplies fresh and increases the sale of your most profitable items.
O’Mahony was founded in 1913, so celebrating 30 years would date this to c. 1943.
Some closeups from other pages If you have any idea as to where any of these diners were located, or if any are still around, please comment.
Barrel roofed “Victory” model. Older style stools, and a sliding door. I wonder what the actual date of manufacture of this particular diner was. Interesting that this barrel roofed style with the skylight vents on the roof, that is so associated with 1920s and early 1930s diner style is still offered in the early 1940s.
The terrace grill, a square cornered monarch model. Interesting that they’re advertising this older style monarch alongside the newer, streamlined one. I wonder how the demand for this type was at the point the brochure was published.
It seems that the monarch name is used exclusively now to describe O’Mahony’s like this one, but the way the copy is worded here, it seems more like monarch was O’Mahony’s general model name for any monitor roof diner they produced, while “victory” was the model name for their barrel roof models.
More photos of the West Shore Diner of Lemoyne Pennsylvania from another trip.
Inside the West Shore- Notice how the backbar has been bumped out into the kitchen area, with the front of the back counter being flush with the back wall of the actual diner. Narrow deuce booths on the right.
The backbar setup, with drink machine and passthrough to kitchen. Old woodwork trim. Support our Troops.
The entire length of the diner. Blue, creme and black tilework. Worn salmon formica.
exterior, with air conditioning unit.
It’s a very narrow diner.
The West Shore Diner. They saved my life.
Diner corner with air conditioner cut-out
The Happy Day Diner, is a 1959 DeRaffele, which in recent years, has been redone in recent years with a retro, back to the ’50s theme, complete with Elvis Presley on the vestibule, an a giant smiley face. Interesting that the smiley face wasn’t designed until 1963, and not really popularized until the ’70s, but then again, none of the rest is anything you would have ever seen in a diner in the ’50s, so it kind of follows.
From the Happy Day Diner website:
Back to the 50’s
back on time at the happy day diner, one of the maryland’s unique diner that trully represents de 50’s, bring you back to the old happy days. while you and your family enjoys the food, you also have a chance to take a look at the classic road riders, that hang around at every saturdays nights.
elvis look foward to see you soon .
One of the first diners in Maryland, funded in 1951 and still capted at the original 50’s atmosphere.Those are just a feel of the things that makes the happy day diner, a long time neighborhood favority, pleasent dining, and great cusine. The staff at happy day diner, prides themselves in serve you and your family, and they will ensure that our visit to the restaurant is a pleasent and memorable experince. unlike another restaurant, our menu is disigned to please everyone, at any time of the day. that means you can enjoy your dinner, while our partner eat breakfast, or enjoy some of our italian dishes, that will make you forget that you are not in little italy for while, with a big difference on the price. and your partner enjoing a delicious home made chicken pot pie, that not even mama could do better.
You can find the Happy Day Diner at:
8302 Pulaski Highway
Baltimore, MD 21237
I hit this one up on a Harrisburg area road trip a few years back. It was built in 1953 by DeRaffele, and was previouly named the By-pass Diner. It’s a truly beautiful old place, with broad turquoise striping and gleaming stainless. It’s still very original, as you can see from the pictures. As of a couple years ago, the food and service matched the quality of the architecture. If you’re ever in the Harrisburg area, this one’s a must see.
The American Dream Diner is located at:
1933 Herr St
Harrisburg, PA 17103
The West Shore Diner was built in the 1930s by the Patterson Vehicle Company of Patterson, New Jersey. It may be the only surviving Silk City diner with this narrow floor plan. It appears it may have originally been all stools, but that at some point, the back wall was bumped out. This moved the backbar out the back a bit, allowing the counter to be moved further back, freeing up space for some deuce booths on the outside wall. The ceiling is similar to other silk city diners, but as it is so much narrower, it is steeper on the sides, and does not have the elegant curve of later models. Dark woodwork, tile and formica make up most of the interior, while the exterior has been repainted time and time again. The West Shore shows its 70+ years of age, but is a unique example of early New Jersey diner manufacture. his is my go-to diner in the Harrisburg area, and one of the best I’ve been to. It is one of the friendliest around. The food is excellent, and comes in enormous portions at bargain prices. They have great t-shirts, too, which is always a plus. You can’t go wrong with a stop at the West Shore.
It appears it used to be red.