White Tower Sign

I made the drive down from Maryland to Midlothian VA today to pick this up.

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This neon sign was previously mounted on Richmond White Tower No. 1, which was located at 223 East Grace Street. It was originally built in 1939, and remodeled in 1960, which is probably when this sign was installed. The building is still there. It’s been de-towered, and painted, but it’s still recognizable.

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Trolley Conversions- Maryland and Virginia

Some recent additions to my collection. These photos were taken in 1965. There used to be quite a few trolley conversions in the mid atlantic (and elsewhere), but they just didn’t hold up as well as factory built diners. By the time they came into service as diners, most had served a full lifetime of service on the roads, so the condition was obviously not as good as a factory built diner. It took work, money and some jerry-rigging to change them over from transportation to food service. But they could be picked up and converted on the cheap, so they were a good way to get into the business. It seems most owners traded up to a proper factory built diner, or to a on-site construction once they had earned enough money to do so, so the trolleys didn’t survive very well.

Maryland
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Maryland
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Virginia
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Virginia
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The Mighty Midget Kitchen

The Mighty Midget in 1980. It was built by a Glendale, California based firm post-war from a section of bomber fuselage. Apparently they built seven of them, and this is the only one to have survived.

From the 1940s through its closing, it cooked standard grill fare- burgers and hot dogs. It did a stint post-move and post-restoration as a Barbecue place, and now is part of a German Doner restaurant.
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And 30 years later. It closed in 1994 and was moved to the current site in 1996. The stone gas station which is used to sit next to is now a pie shop.
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Latest Art

Some quick and dirty sharpie sketches of Little Taverns

Do-Nut Diner – Front Royal Virginia (4″x6″)
This was originally part of the Donut Dinette chain. For more on the chain, look here.

Short Stop Diner- Wheaton, Maryland (4″x5″)

Rib & Sirloin Restaurant / Sandwich Shoppe – Pulaski, VA

Driving down the highway outside of Pulaski, VA, we spotted the big neon for this place poking through the trees. I couldn’t get the camera out fast enough to snap it, so we took the exit and drove around a bit, until we found it. The motel is still there, though it’s closed. The restaurant isn’t visible from the road, and it’s on private property, so please don’t go searching for it

The motel was once the Days Inn. The last review of it is dated September, 2008, so it closed fairly recently. The restaurant, however, has been closed and abandoned for a bit longer. It is currently condemned. Going by a class of 1963 35th reunion banner still hanging in the restaurant, it’s safe to say that the place closed in 1998 or so.

It’s a great ’60s colonial Howard Johnson’s type place, with avocado green stools and a great rooftop neon.
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Overgrown parking lot
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Sandwich Shoppe
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Blue Paint
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Red paint
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Shots of the interior. Sorry about the glare, they’re through the windows.

Counter
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Left Side Dining Room.
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Inside dining room. The “Forever Young” DHS class of 1963 35th Reunion. Possibly Dublin High School?
Candles and coffee mugs still on the tables. Ceiling is caving in.
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Abandoned Road
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Barber Shop- Wytheville, VA

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.

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Diner Slides- 1976-1988

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.

Then:
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Now:
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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.

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Now:

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Frost Diner- Warrenton, VA
The Frost is a 1955 O’Mahony.

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Inside
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Counter
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A sign of the times- Disco Fashion T-shirts
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Pork Chop- $1.25, Fried Chicken $1.75
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Tastee Diner- Silver Spring, MD

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Tastee Diner- Laurel, MD
a rare Comac brand diner

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Bud’s Broiler – New Orleans, LA
Bud’s Broiler
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Allen Theater
Current Photos
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Flower Theater
Current Photos
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Summit Diner– Somerset, PA
Summit Diner
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Moody’s Diner- Waldoboro, ME
Moody’s Diner
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Diner- MA
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