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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

New Jersey Luncheonette

New Jersey Luncheonette

Another New Jersey luncheonette circa 1955-1957. View full size.

Worth the trip

This shotgun diner would have been worth a long bike trip for me when I was about 10 or 12 years old. Could I please have a double chocolate cone to go with my package of baseball cards?

Be still my beating heart!

Be still my beating heart! I can almost smell this place. The faint scent of onions, and burger meat...and I can almost hear the whirrrrr of the malted machine and the boxy a/c above the door. Heaven!

Game 7

It looks like the line score posted behind the counter matches up with Game 7 of the 1957 World Series in which the Milwaukee Braves beat the Yankees on Thursday, October 10th. Milwaukee, the visiting team, scored 5 runs on 9 hits and 1 error that day and the Yankees scored 0 runs on 7 hits with 3 errors. The Braves scored 3 in the third inning and 1 in the eighth, which certainly seems a plausible reading of what is legible in the photo. It seems that a New Jersey luncheonette, particularly if it was in northern Jersey, would have a clientele interested in Game 7 of a World Series that the Yankees were playing in, so the presence of the posted line score would make some sense. I hope this is helpful.

One Hot Fudge Sundae Please

A very interesting article discussed how teenage offenders are actively restoring old diners to their formal glory. I, for one, will gladly patronize one of these refurbished beauties--and order a tasty sundae too. I'll just have to remember to wear my grandma's poodle skirt.

Cash in the Cards

I can't help but thinking that some of those small boxes around the cash register area must be filled with 5 cent packs of baseball cards and gum! Every mint card in those packs would be worth hundreds of dollars today. Find a Mantle or other such star of the day and you're talking thousands.

Luncheonette

note the tin ceiling, I bet this place knew how to make a milkshake.

Spacing

I can't help but think that today people couldn't sit that close together. Many people today would have a problem swinging their legs between the stools.

Submitted for Your Approval

Looks like the perfect makings for a Twilight Zone set.

The game...

I noticed the scores for the baseball game on the Pepsi sign on the back wall. Saved the workers from telling the score to every Tom, Dick and Harry that walked in. I wonder who had played that day...

Sigh

I wish I was sitting at that counter right now! Wonderful memories. Sigh...

Ah, for the days ...

... when you could find a place like this in every American town. I love its cool, clean look. I even love the word "luncheonette"; I once ate at a place simply because it still called itself that.

Change back from a dollar

I'll have a regular coffee and a crumb cake please, and for the kid, a chocolate malt.

Literary Luncheonette

The shelves behind the stools are stocked with books, magazines and newspapers. It would be a wonderful thing if McDonald's and Burger King sold books today. I read recently that even New York City's venerable independent newsstands are being replaced with chain-type kiosks. The fewer options we have to experience literature, the fewer options we'll have.

Goober Pea

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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