Historic diners still in use today in New England.
The original diners were wagons pulled by horses through city streets, serving late-shift workers in working class areas. As their popularity grew some wagons started to add seating and the next generation of classic diners was born.
The Worcester Lunch Car Company was started in 1906 by Philip Duprey and Irving Stoddard. Built in Worcester, Massachusetts, these stationary diners were small in size and featured an indoor bathroom. They were recognizable by the barrel-shaped roof and inside the dining room was generally separated from the food preparation area by way of a lunch counter. They also featured porcelain panels on the outside, on which the name of the diner was painted. From 1906 to 1957 the WLCC manufactured over 600 diners. Because of their location, most were shipped to the New England area. The WLCC stopped all production in 1957.
Today there are still surviving WLCC diners in operation, keeping classic diner culture alive. Many of these establishments are in the city of Worcester itself as well as throughout New England. Perhaps the most famous is the Boulevard Diner, which was built in 1936, and has been run by the same family since the 1960’s. The Boulevard is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The Rosebud in Somervile, Massachusetts, is another of the Worcester Lunch Car Company’s diners that is still in operation. It was built in 1941 and is also listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.