Worcester Lunch Car Company

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Casey's Diner (ca. 1922), a historic ten-stool diner in downtown Natick, Massachusetts

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


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

In 1906 Philip H. Duprey and Grenville 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.


Day and Night Diner, #781 (1944)
The Rosebud Diner (1941)

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 Historic Places.

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][2] 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, Rhode Island. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 [3] 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, Izzy's Diner and Pizza, a full service diner and pizza shop, and still contains many original items including the original Worcester Lunch Car Clock. The car is slowly being restored to look as it did originally. In August 2020, the diner was purchased by a local restaurateur. [4]

While most of their diners were located in New England some were purchased as far away as Florida.[citation needed] 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.[5]

Other examples[edit]


  • A-1 Diner, Gardiner, Maine[6]
  • Miss Portland Diner – WLCC No. 818, 1949


  • Blue Point Restaurant, 6 Dayton Street, Acushnet, Massachusetts[7]
  • Club Diner, Dutton Street, Lowell, Massachusetts[8]
  • Owl Diner, Appleton Street, Lowell, Massachusetts[9]
  • Day and Night Diner, Route 20, Palmer, Massachusetts (Worcester Lunch Car #781, 1944)[10][11]
  • Dinky’s Blue Belle Diner, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (Worcester Lunch Car #814)[6]
  • Lanna Thai Diner, Woburn, Massachusetts[12]

Miss Adams Diner 53 Park Street, Adams, MA 01220 Worcesrter Lunch Car #821

New Hampshire[edit]

Daddypops Tumble Inn Diner (1941)[13]
  • 4 Aces Diner, Bridge St, West Lebanon, New Hampshire[6]
  • Daddypops Tumble Inn Diner, Main Street, Claremont NH[13]
  • Gilleys Diner (1940), Portsmouth, NH

Rhode Island[edit]

Miss Lorraine Diner, Pawtucket (1941)[14]
  • Jigger’s Hill and Harbour Diner, Main Street, East Greenwich, Rhode Island[6]
  • Miss Lorraine Diner, Mineral Spring Avenue, Pawtucket (Worcester Lunch Car No. 774), formerly Donwell's Diner in Hartford, CT[15][16][14]


  • Chelsea Royal Diner, West Brattleboro, Vermont[6]
  • Parkway Diner, South Burlington, Vermont
  • Miss Bellows Falls Diner, Bellows Falls, Vermont (Worcester Lunch Car #771, 1941)[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Randy Garbin (2005). Diners of New England. Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-3141-3.
  2. ^ Randy Garbin (2005-03-01). Diners of New England. Stackpole Books. Retrieved 2017-03-18 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form : Central Diner" (PDF). Nps.gov. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  4. ^ "A New Owner For The Adams Diner Will Bring Diner Fare Back To Adams". WUPE.
  5. ^ Richard J. S. Gutman (2004). The Worcester Lunch Car Company. ISBN 9780738535838. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  6. ^ a b c d e "15 Best Diners in New England". New England Today. Yankee Magazine. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Welcome to the Blue Point Restaurant located in Acushnet, MA!". Blue Point Restaurant. Blue Point Restaurant. Retrieved 22 April 2018. The main dining room of the Blue Point Restaurant is an original Worcester Dining Car, built at the Worcester factory in the 1930s. It was delivered by rail to New Bedford and opened as The Diner Blue Point Restaurant Eat-At BarDeluxe in 1939
  8. ^ "Lowell Diner Cars: Breakfast Served With a Side of History". Howl Magazine. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Owl Diner". The Owl Diner. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  10. ^ Garbin, Randy (March 4, 2005). Diners Of New England. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811731416 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Day and Night Diner Palmer MA – Vintage Diner in Downtown". Retro Roadmap. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Ten diners stamped 'Worcester'". Boston Globe. 7 March 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  13. ^ a b Merriman, Anna (30 July 2021). "Arson suspected in fire that damages Claremont diner". Valley News. Archived from the original on 25 August 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  14. ^ a b Doiron, Sarah (5 November 2021). "Pawtucket diner nationally recognized as historically significant". WPRI News 12. Archived from the original on 10 November 2021. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Miss Lorraine Diner (Donwell's Diner)". MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC. MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  16. ^ Coelho, Jamie (28 January 2020). "Miss Lorraine Diner Opens at Pawtucket's Lorraine Mills". Rhode Island Monthly. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  17. ^ "NRHP nomination for Miss Bellows Falls Diner". National Park Service. Retrieved 2021-11-12.

External links[edit]