June 9, 1902, the first Automat opened at 818 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. To celebrate, all Automat Box orders between June 9 - 11, 2023 will include a special 8x10 print of Automat windows. All June subscription orders will also receive the print as an extra benefit!
Offer only available for one-time Automat Box purchases made between June 9 - 11, 2023 and for June subscription orders. Frame not included.
The Journey of the First Automat
Frank Hardart was approached by a Salesman trying to sell a product known as the “waiterless restaurant”. Enthusiastic about its potential, Frank Hardart decided to see the real thing and made a trip out to Germany. As soon as he saw it, he knew he had to have it.
It took a year to manufacture and finally in March 1902 the first Automat machine was on the way from Liverpool to Philadelphia. However this first machine would never make it to its destination. The steamer it was traveling on encountered heavy fog and collided with another ship. The ship sank quickly, taking the 1st Automat to the bottom of the sea.
A second arrived in Philadelphia, just in time for the June 9, 1902 opening at 818 Chestnut Street.