Author Topic: Dining at the Automat -- 1902  (Read 37625 times)

J. Wilhelm

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2013, 04:09:21 am »
It doesn't mater any way - we'll soon be eating Soylent Green anyway!  Have you heard about this "Soylent Diet"?

http://www.businessinsider.com/rob-rhinehart-food-substitute-soylent-2013-3

Arabella Periscope

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2013, 09:48:42 pm »
A lovely idea of Retro-Futurism; Mr. Bowman's images of the Automat combined with many functions, including the laundry in the original tv series 'Lost in Space' in which the laundry was posted into a slot.  It was invisibly broken down into its atomic components and remade, and moments later posted back in an envolope. 
Kenneth: 'If you're so hot, you can tell me how to say she has ideas above her station.'
Brian:'Oh yes, I forgot. It's fairly easy, old boy.
Elle a des idees au-dessus de sa gare.'
Kenneth: 'Idiot.  It's not that kind of station.'

Terence Rattigan 'French Without Tears.'

RJBowman

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2017, 04:42:59 am »
Update:

Someone in Harlem has a basement full of automat machines:
https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/stories-from-the-automat-machines-in-a-harlem-basement/?scp=1&sq=automat&st=cse

A business opportunity for someone.

Drew P

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2017, 01:27:19 pm »
Interexting "update", doesn't that article come from 2010?
Or has my Tablet tricked me again?
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Always ask 'Why not!?'

RJBowman

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2017, 02:57:43 pm »
Interexting "update", doesn't that article come from 2010?
Or has my Tablet tricked me again?

It was news to me.

RJBowman

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2017, 02:42:02 am »
Interesting. I was looking at a completely unrelated article, and down at the bottom was a link to this:
http://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Crowds-flock-to-new-S-F-tech-friendly-fast-food-6478759.php

The two year old article is about a new restaurant where you order through your smart phone and pick up your plate at a numbered window.

The food is quinoa bowls, which doesn't appeal to my midwestern tastes, but it looks like food that could eventually be prepared by automated machinery; a completely automated automat.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 02:44:53 am by RJBowman »

Hurricane Annie

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2017, 03:47:17 pm »


 Here in the Antipodes , vending machine food is fairly mainstream.  Soft drinks, water, fruit juice, flavored milk, candy bars [called chocolate bars here even if they don't have chocolate ], packets of nuts, potato chips etc. , sandwiches.  They are in  the usual places Iike hospitals,  some car parks,  cafeteria, work places.

 Though I can see a market for other snacks and meals, and other venues  the could be utilised  in. Transport centres , laundromat, rest stops.

RJBowman

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2017, 05:38:57 pm »
Automat isn't quite the same thing as vending machines; at an automat there is a kitchen on the other side of the bank of coin-operated doors, with someone constantly restocking the compartments with fresh plates.

Hurricane Annie

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2017, 11:05:29 am »
Automat isn't quite the same thing as vending machines; at an automat there is a kitchen on the other side of the bank of coin-operated doors, with someone constantly restocking the compartments with fresh plates.

Then we have nothing here as excellent  as that.  I could  see a few places where thar  could work  too.

RJBowman

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Hurricane Annie

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2018, 02:01:57 am »

 Robot food preparation is probably no less appetising  than manual - though I can see where things could go horribly wrong

J. Wilhelm

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2018, 02:36:22 pm »
But is it really an automat? If you still need to have an employee pick up the prepared food and supervise the machines? Not that I want a fully automated experience. Same as a self driving car, things can and will go horribly wrong at some point. I'd hate to have my stomach pumped or worse surgically opened after an accident involving a robot.

RJBowman

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2020, 10:44:13 pm »
I just found this:



My source says that this is a "Pluto Lamp" gas lamp, installed at several points in London in 1897. The base of the lamp is a vending machine that dispenses hot coffee, tea and cocoa.

J. Wilhelm

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2020, 06:12:18 pm »
Could the Automat make a comeback in Post COVID-19 times? I'm looking at what restaurants are having to do to admit patrons and it looks both, ridiculous and inherently dangerous.

Imagine self cleaning booths enclosed in plastic, like closed train cabins, and automat like windows in the wall. Waiters would bring your order behind the wall, never being in contact with customers. The advantage is that it allows for a more normal dining experience for the patrons, who don't have to be wearing masks inside the booth (which can self clean afterwards). It's kind of sad, but it could be made glamorous...

Back in the 1970s the was (and still is) a beach hotel called "Las Brisas" in the resort city of Acapulco. Being a 1950-60s style swanky place, in typical James Bond style, the rooms were not in a building, but rather were isolated bungalows on a steep tropical mountainside . Hotel guests moved about on steep cobble streets from the hotel to the town by way of a rented Jeeps painted in bright pink and white livery, like a glam version of a Safari vehicle (I guess that was part of the charm)

The rooms featured private poolsaoutside, and inside had little trap doors on the walls through which waiters could bring you the complimentary breakfast, drinks or your room service. The hotel employees could not see the guests through the doors (who no doubtedly were engaged in indecent activities, true to James Bond fashion. *puffy shirt, crooked teeth and glasses* Yeah, baby!).

I'm thinking that the "little trap doors" could become ubiquitous in the Post COVID Era...

Captain

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2020, 01:22:17 am »
Does anyone remember the old Sliders TV series?  The first episode they land in a world where antibiotics had been invented.  The restaurant they ate in was an automat with ultra-sterilized, flavorless food and UV disinfecting lights sweeping the room.  It just seems timely. 
-Karl

J. Wilhelm

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2020, 05:31:55 am »
Does anyone remember the old Sliders TV series?  The first episode they land in a world where antibiotics had been invented.  The restaurant they ate in was an automat with ultra-sterilized, flavorless food and UV disinfecting lights sweeping the room.  It just seems timely. 

Oh yes, With COVID 19 you lose your sense of smell and taste. We will all be eating gruel.

RJBowman

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2021, 03:54:35 pm »
Look at this steampunk hotness:



From this web site:
https://www.famousformydinnerparties.com/all/2020/05/28/technology-progress-and-fast-food

German art nouveau.  (which comes up in a google search as "Jugendstil".) "Elektrisch" and "Automatisch" according to the signs.

Described in the article as "Magdeburg's first Automat, early 1900s".

Miranda.T

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2021, 07:59:59 pm »
I just found this:



My source says that this is a "Pluto Lamp" gas lamp, installed at several points in London in 1897. The base of the lamp is a vending machine that dispenses hot coffee, tea and cocoa.

I wonder if any of those still exist anywhere? In any case, what a great idea!

Look at this steampunk hotness:



From this web site:
https://www.famousformydinnerparties.com/all/2020/05/28/technology-progress-and-fast-food

German art nouveau.  (which comes up in a google search as "Jugendstil".) "Elektrisch" and "Automatisch" according to the signs.

Described in the article as "Magdeburg's first Automat, early 1900s".

Most handsome.

Yours,
Miranda.

J. Wilhelm

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2021, 01:39:32 am »
Look at this steampunk hotness:



From this web site:
https://www.famousformydinnerparties.com/all/2020/05/28/technology-progress-and-fast-food

German art nouveau.  (which comes up in a google search as "Jugendstil".) "Elektrisch" and "Automatisch" according to the signs.

Described in the article as "Magdeburg's first Automat, early 1900s".

Definitely electrisch! Would love to have a cafeteria like that somewhere around here.

Hurricane Annie

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2021, 11:20:11 pm »
 

Thinking out loud here. For discussion sake. With Covid here to stay for a while, could these automatic food services come back from the past as  a way of the temporary future?








J. Wilhelm

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2021, 02:00:04 am »
 

Thinking out loud here. For discussion sake. With Covid here to stay for a while, could these automatic food services come back from the past as  a way of the temporary future?









Partially it's already happening, in Japan, at least. Firstly, they love their vending machines which sell everything from alcoholic beverages to solid food and way beyond that, and even without vending machines some traditional fast food diners sit you at a long bar and you don't have get a menu - you order online instead. I think I saw a variation on that theme with individual transparent plastic booths instead of the bar. Someone brings your food to you with minimal contact and separated from other patrons and the few staff in the restaurant.

After all, an automat was not that different, originally. The staff would place the dishes from behind, in boxes embedded in the wall with glass doors.

Sorontar

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2021, 10:20:19 am »
I fear the building is no longer there but more images can be found at http://archiv.magdeburg-kompakt.de/klappe-auf-essen-drauf/ (helps if you sprechen sie Deutsch).

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RJBowman

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2021, 02:41:27 pm »
I've found the occasional article saying that Horn and Hardart's machines are still in storage; some sources have said in a basement in Harlem, others in a warehouse in upstate New York.

So there is a possibility that someone could revive this business with vintage machines, though they would probably have to alter them to take credit cards now that coffee costs more than a nickel a cup.

Hurricane Annie

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2021, 04:28:21 pm »



 I was viewing the automat perspective from a New Zealand perspective. Comments from others are lending a broader international perspective and potential.

 New Zealand is not vast, it is long and narrow with 2 main islands. We don't have an extensive rail network. Most travel and freight is by road. The population is small, relatively sparse and low density. The covid  lock down levels are harder here than other countries. The public have become completely covid conscious. With mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, number restrictions in the few retail shops open, gatherings not permitted, stress and paranoia set in. New Zealand is arguably rather distopian at the best of times

Many businesses cannot be fully operational. Including the food and hospitality industry.  Supermarkets, superettes, and take away/ fast food outlets are open with restrictions. To complicate this, main regions are at different alert levels, with border check points. Essential workers, personal exemptions and trucks are allowed through. Preparation and planning by the government  its ministries and departments has been a "shambles".   

Trucks have to pull over for lengthy checks. There is talk of mandatory testing of drivers at check points. This will create  {relatively} large cumbersome bottle necks and delays. Which in turn add to cost on transport and goods.

Along the state High way network there are small towns that currently only remain existent as way side stops for refueling and meals, some have accommodation.

 I'm thinking automat services for food and other consumer items have a place in new future business model delopments. Pay and walk away. Either as  individual outlets in a large open atrium or as a street facing wall. A quick stop for meals and a drink, essential clothing etc.

. Feel free to poke holes in my argument. It will refine the concept in my thought processes

J. Wilhelm

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Re: Dining at the Automat -- 1902
« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2021, 01:17:19 am »
All I can do is suggest as a foreigner, given that I'm not on the ground. New Zealand's relative isolation is a mixed blessing, because it can keep safe, except when the virus spreads from within, at which point the small area can become a trap, not unlike ships during the start of the pandemic. I think that's what drives the mesures you describe.

Another suggestion is a concept that took off like a rocket in the US last year. Since many restaurants had to close, their only source of income became takeaway, curb side pickup and delivery. Very quickly chefs closed their brick and mortar locations and opened business utilizing a kitchen concept known as "ghost kitchen."

Since people are ordering online anyway, there's no need for a physical location and the monetary investment on a physical location becomes unnecessary. Someone had the idea of building a large structure with many professional kitchens for rent. You can start your virtual restaurant and offer professionally cooked meals delivered by way of the many delivery services which already existed before the pandemic. You staff works at a booth in a ghost kitchen, and you supply all your ingredients and utensils, while the cooking hardware and the pickup logistics (delivery drivers waiting at the lobby) are handled by the ghost kitchen staff. It's a genius idea, really. Anyone can sell food this way.

The utility of the ghost kitchen goes well beyond pandemic survival. You have several food trucks downtown but not enough space to prepare quality restaurant food? Use a ghost kitchen, have someone bring all your prepped ingredients, or eveb finished dishes. You don't know if people in town will like Jamaican-Moroccan fusion food? Open a virtual restaurant and rent a ghost kitchen, if your virtual restaurant doesn't work out you never had to hire front of the house staff or rent a location.

So what does this have to do with automats, you say? Well, for starters there's no rule that says that an automat needs a kitchen in the back of the house. Why not have any number of virtual kitchens deliver food to an automat? The automat simply becomes a distribution station with individual, isolated booths for patrons. The booths could be air conditioned and with access from the street, like a motel. A "Mestaurant." There never is any contact between patrons (say a couple out for dinner, or a family on Sunday brunch), because they enter the dining booth from the parking lot directly from their car.

The food could be delivered from any number of pre selected virtual kitchens. You fancy American Barbecue while your wife craves French Provencal, and the kids want Pizza? NO PROBLEM. There is no limit to how many menus you can choose from, provided the Mestaurant™ is within the service radio of the ghost kitchen hosting your favorite virtual restaurant. You can pre-select through the aether net before leaving home, or if you have the time to wait, you could order while inside the booth, with standard refreshments and starters, provided by the Motor Restaurant Corporation with a guarantee of service within an allotted time frame*.

The Mestaurant could be deep in a wooded area, with breathtaking views of nature, as long as it's close enough to a ghost kitchen. Better yet. Why not throw in automated delivery by drone? After the patrons have left, the dining room has all its air evacuated and a cleanup crew is called to clean and prepare the booth for the next patrons.

The Mestaurant™ offers the best of both worlds, contacless 5-star restaurant service and drive through convenience. It's the ultimate in dystopian atomic age dining!



*Conditions Apply. Offer is void where prohibited. Local traffic laws always apply. Offer limited to service from Monday through Saturday 5pm to 1am. Offer void in the event of a major disaster within the Mestaurant™ service radius or vicinity, such as hurricane/cyclone, tornado, earthquake, tsunami or volcanic eruption.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 01:19:48 am by J. Wilhelm »