Younger viewers might find themselves squinting a little to see what Automat aficionados saw so clearly, and remember with such love. Hurwitz does a good job covering the bases of how the Automats flourished, and why, with the post-World War II and Eisenhower era emphasis on interstate highways and fleeing to the suburbs, the Automat slid gradually, then quickly, into disfavor. Several longtime Horn & Hardart executives and executive’s offspring speak from the heart, often in quietly anguished tones, about what the company founders did to foster loyalty (unionization efforts, unsuccessful, notwithstanding). In the end, the Automat’s initial and longstanding appeal as a gleaming, ultra-modern taste of the future became a remnant of yesterday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.