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Restaurant Robots (1931)

The March 27, 1931 Lima News (Lima, Ohio) ran a piece titled, "Press the Button and Mechanical Man Will Pop Right Up With Meal." Automation, as we've seen through countless other posts, epitomizes futurism of the 1930s. Robots (a relatively new term in 1931) seemed to often be thrown in for that extra bit of flair.

The machine age is about to take command of the world's largest industry - the $23,000,000,000-a-year restaurant business. Hungry patrons will push various buttons representing items on the menu, their orders will be transmitted electrically to kitchen robots which will prepare their food, deliver it, collect the bills, and carry off the dishes.

See also:
Just Imagine (1930)
In a Cashless Future, Robots Will Cook (1996)
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)
The Electronic Brain Made Beef Stew (1959)
The Future of Personal Robots (1986)
Donald Duck's "Modern Inventions" (1937)
All's Fair at the Fair (1938)
The Mechanical Man of the Future (1928)


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Reader Comments (8)

Can't wait to see those paleo-future lawsuits when the robot pours coffee in that poor lady's lap!

October 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm sure by then there'll be robot lawyers who'll be able to work it all out for us.

November 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Pretty accurate vending machine anticipation...

November 1, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercountach

Some restaurants could be improved by using robots. I'm looking at you McDonalds!


November 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I believe a Mr. Wallace and a Mr. Gromit from England have been working on such a machine for years. Not much success as of yet, however. Something in the spring just isn't right.


November 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Well dim sum and sushi restaurants have conveyor systems for the meals....and I know of at least a few pizza places that use robots to assemble and cook the pizzas. Nothing so fantastical as an entirely automated restaurant, naturally.

November 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob

When I'm a bajillionare, my mansion will definitely include a pig->ham sandwich machine.

November 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJake H

There were these vending machine restaurants in the 1930s and '40s called "automats" for a time.

No one anticipated the rise of celebrity chefs and the sheer joy of cooking and eating the old-fashioned way.

BTW, the old print makes it look as if it says the mechanical arm will pour "soap" for the patron -- thatl'll clean her mouth right out. Pigs into a machine would be rather politically incorrect today -- PETA would gag at that cartoon!

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

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