Automat, 977 Eighth Avenue, Manhattan

Berenice Abbott American

Not on view

During the Depression, Horn & Hardart’s chain of "waiterless restaurants" served as many as eight hundred thousand freshly prepared meals a day to customers in New York and Philadelphia. With its clean lines, polished chrome details, and mechanical efficiency, the Automat struck Abbott as "an extremely American artifact." New York’s first Automat opened in Times Square in 1912, but Abbott chose to document the branch at Columbus Circle, popular as a nighttime gathering spot for musicians and cabaret patrons.

Automat, 977 Eighth Avenue, Manhattan, Berenice Abbott (American, Springfield, Ohio 1898–1991 Monson, Maine), Gelatin silver print

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