Magic Fingers Motel Massager

Magic Fingers Motel Massager

During the twilight of the fifties, the Englander Company manufactured a commercial sleeping slab with a mechanical vibrator at its core. One of their top salesman, John Houghtaling (HUFF-tay-ling), peddled the unit to customers in the lodging industry. When a number of clients complained that the buzz-boxes were burning out, he took it ...
From Fish Brine to Ketchup

From Fish Brine to Ketchup

Ahhh ... that tangy, thick, and sticky condiment known as ketchup—where would American road food be without it? Certainly, drive-ins, diners, coffee shops, and in many cases—fine restaurants—wouldn't be the same. Burgers would be bland, fries embarrassed by their nakedness, and hot dogs robbed of their bite. In a world devoid of ...
History of the American Diner

History of the American Diner

What do McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Denny's, Arby's, Roy Rogers, Taco Bell, Jack-in-the-Box, and Kentucky Fried Chicken have in common? All have their distant origins in the diner, that unsung institution of roadside America that began over one-hundred years ago, decades before there were automobiles, drive-thru ...
Birthplace of the Hamburger

Birthplace of the Hamburger

Sure, history books tell of the Tartar's fondness for raw meat and how sailors from Germany loved to order Hamburg Style Steak upon their arrival in the New World. The real question is: Who created America's first all-beef patty, ancestral prototype of today's Quarter Pounder, Big Mac, and Whopper? Pinpointing the origination of the hamburger ...
The Texas Pig Stands Drive-In

The Texas Pig Stands Drive-In

"People in their cars are so lazy that they don't want to get out of them to eat!" The proclamation still rings as true today as it did when candy and tobacco magnate Jessie G. Kirby first uttered the words in 1921. At the time, he was trying to interest Rueben W. Jackson, a Dallas, Texas physician to invest in a new idea for a roadside restaurant ...
Al Bell’s Flying A Station

Al Bell’s Flying A Station

During World War II, Allen P. Bell was transferred to the Air Base in Kingman, Arizona to work his tour of duty as an aircraft mechanic. On his 21st birthday, he stepped off the train, walked down old Route 66 a bit, and observed the desolation. “What is this God-forsaken place?” he asked himself. He made his mind up right then and there that once discharged from the Air Corps., he wouldn't return. Operating a service station—much less living there—was the farthest thought from his mind. Nevertheless, the two-lane twist of concrete designated…continue reading →