Night lunch Wagons

Before the trend of food trucks and street food, night lunch and food wagons were all the rage. From Atlas Obscura:

“IN 1893, BOSTON WAS BUSTLING, especially after the sun went down. “Night owls of all classes” roamed the streets, wrote the Boston Daily Globe, including “workers, idlers, pleasure seekers, spendthrifts, tramps and bums.” At some point, all of these people would want something to eat. The wealthy could get their quail on toast at any hour, observed the writer. For everyone else, there were the night lunch wagons. While they served inexpensive eats, the wagons themselves could be as fancifully decorated as music boxes on wheels. “

Before Food Trucks, Americans Ate 'Night Lunch' From Beautiful Wagons
Before Food Trucks, Americans Ate ‘Night Lunch’ From Beautiful Wagons

“It wasn’t just journalists who stayed up late, though. Night shift workers wanted a meal when they punched out, and party-goers wanted grub when they emerged from the bar. But most restaurants closed at 8 p.m. Scott’s innovation—serving sandwiches, pie, and coffee from a horse-drawn wagon as a “night lunch”—soon spread. In 1884, Gutman says, a cousin of an imitator of Scott’s moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, and made the first lunch wagons that customers could sit inside.”

Read the full article on Atlas Obscura

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