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How Depression-Era Automats Set the Standard for Consistency

Baked beans, pumpkin pie, huckleberry pie, oatmeal cookies, cup custard, beef and noodles with burgundy sauce, hearty stews, fish cakes, “velvety” baked hams, macaroni and cheese, “succulent” Salisbury steaks, creamed spinach, the “fluffiest” mashed potatoes… “these are a few of their favorite things”... ‘cause for sure, every man, woman and child had a favorite. One can almost taste the memories of those lucky enough — or even those down on their luck — to have frequented one of the 84 Horn & Hardart Automats (automatic cafeterias with steam tables and waitstaff) that operated in the U.S. from July 1901 through April 1991.

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