what item did the first vending machines in the united states dispense? image

what item did the first vending machines in the united states dispense? image

What item did the first vending machines in the united states dispense? image: The “Automat Lunch Room” at Horn & Hardart Company in Times Square was a self-service marvel that was open to curious, hungry readers. The enormous, coin-operated vending machine housed numerous menu items in rows of glass-fronted, windowed compartments. Customers could shop by dropping a nickel in a coin slot and then turning a knob to open the door.

Horn & Hardart’s elegant, coin-operated cafeteria offered more slots than a Las Vegas Casino, but they also provided guaranteed payoffs. These machines served sandwiches, slices, and comfort food, from macaroni, cheese to chicken potpie and tapioca pudding to macaroni, cheese. Rubber tips were worn by nimble, slick cashiers who dispensed nickels from the glass-enclosed booths’ recessed dishes. Invisible kitchen workers filled empty compartments like magic behind the scenes. Frank Hardart and Joe Horn created Automat, a feat of efficiency that revolutionized American foodservice.

Horn and Hardart, who opened their first luncheonette in 1888 together, brought the idea of an automated restaurant to America from Germany. They unveiled America’s first Automat in Philadelphia in 1902. This marked the beginning of the fast-food era in America. They expanded to Manhattan a decade later. Their Times Square restaurant wasn’t the first coin-operated cafeteria in New York City, but Horn & Hardart Automats was quickly established in the Big Apple.

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