Worcester Lunch Car Company

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Casey's Diner, ca. 1922 diner produced by WLCC

Worcester Lunch Car Company was a manufacturer of diners based in Worcester, Massachusetts from 1906 to 1957.

History[edit]

The building formerly housing the WLC Company manufacturing headquarters with the name still faintly evident in the black area at near the top of the wall
The Miss Worcester Diner (1948) remains across from the former factory headquarters

In 1906 Philip H. Duprey and Irving Stoddard established the Worcester Lunch Car and Carriage Manufacturing Company, which shipped 'diners' all over the Eastern Seaboard. It was named for Worcester, Massachusetts, where the company was based. The first manufactured lunch wagons with seating appeared throughout the Northeastern US in the late 19th century, serving busy downtown locations without the need to buy expensive real estate. It is generally accepted that the name "diner" as opposed to "lunch wagon" was not widely used before 1925. The company produced 651 diners between 1906 and 1957, when manufacturing ceased. All of Worcester Lunch Car's assets were auctioned in 1961.

Examples[edit]

Day and Night Diner (1944)
Rosebud Diner (1948)

Many diners still exist in the Worcester area, including Casey's Diner (1922) in nearby Natick and the Boulevard Diner (1936) in Worcester, which are some of the oldest diners in the country and listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

While most of their diners were located in New England some were purchased as far away as Florida. The Miss Worcester Diner (1948) still exists in its original location across the street from the former factory. The Rosebud (1941) is an example at 381 Summer Street in Somerville, Massachusetts near Davis Square.[1] The Elmwood Diner (originally known as Central Diner) is Worcester Lunch Car Company #806 built in 1947 and moved to its current location in 1953 where is still operates in the Elmwood section of Providence RI. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 [2]

Worcester Lunch Car Company #821 is still in its original location at 53 Park Street in Adams, Massachusetts. The former "Miss Adams diner" was sold to a couple in 2013 who operate it as a full service diner and pizza shop, and and still contains many original items including the original Worcester Lunch Car Clock.

The Henry Ford Museum in Michigan contains a notable example of a Worcester Lunch Car diner called Lamy's, built in 1946. In January 2012, Lamy's once again began serving food. Many surviving Worcester Lunch Car diners are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Diners of New England" By Randy Garbin, Edition: illustrated, (Published by Stackpole Books, 2005) ISBN 0-8117-3141-3, ISBN 978-0-8117-3141-6 [1]
  2. ^ http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/weekly_features/CentralDiner.pdf
  3. ^ Richard J. S. Gutman, The Worcester Lunch Car Company: Images of America (Arcadia Publishing, 2004) [2]

External links[edit]