Joseph V. Horn

Joseph V. Horn

Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 13 Oct 1941 (aged 80)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section I
Memorial ID 7467717 · View Source
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Businessman. The son of the owner of a surgical supply company, he grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and established a restaurant business. Advertizing for a partner, Horn met and hired Frank Hardart in 1886. Hardart introduced the French-drip coffee that is generally credited with the firm's early success, and additional restaurants were opened. In the late 1800s mechanized food delivery without the use of table servers became popular in Germany and Europe; Hardart visited Berlin in 1900 and saw the "automat." The partners ordered the German machinery and opened the first automat in Philadelphia in 1902. Hot entrees, cold sandwiches, bowls of soup, and slices of pie awaited in the cubicles behind the small glass doors which opened when the right number of nickels were inserted in the slots. The team opened its first Manhattan automat in New York City's Times Square in 1912. The practical book contained recipes and operating regulations, and was the Bible of every Horn and Hardart establishment. Reasonable prices, food variety, and uniform quality made the restaurants successful. There was no English requirement for immigrants who used their nickels to open whichever automat doors they chose. In 1924 the company's new retail stores sold prepackaged automat favorites. The easily purchased and served "home cooked" meals were advertised as requiring "Less Work for Mother." Though some ascribe the decline of Horn and Hardart automats to rival eateries, others maintain that the beginning of the end occurred when the automats raised the price of a cup of its famous coffee from five to ten cents in 1950. The last automat, located on 200 East 42nd Street, at Third Avenue in mid-town Manhattan, closed in 1991.

Bio by: rjschatz

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Russ Dodge
  • Added: 20 May 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7467717
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph V. Horn (15 Jun 1861–13 Oct 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7467717, citing Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .