Before we had food trucks, we had the mobile diner on a horse drawn wagon. The first diner was started by Rhode Island entrepreneur Walter Scott in 1872, who delivered food for the third shift workers at the Providence Journal newspaper. By the 1900’s, diners went from being mobile late-night food counters to stationary 24-hour eateries, cementing their place in the American story. The question today isn’t whether diners are making a comeback. The real question is: in American history, what type of restaurant has ever had such sustained popularity? Connecting Point’s Brian Sullivan traveled through Hampden and Franklin counties to find local western Mass diners and examine this enduring piece of Americana.
This story originally aired on July 15, 2019.