Manhattan Automat

1936. Photograph by Bernice Abbott. “Automat, 977 Eighth Avenue, Manhattan.”

Automats were first introduced in 1895 in Germany following the popularity of chocolate bar vending machines. Diners would feed coins into the automat, open a hinged glass window, and remove food and drinks. At the height of their popularity, automats fed hundreds of thousands of people in New York daily.

Seven Hungry Children

1936. Photograph by Dorothea Lange. “Migrant agricultural worker’s family. Seven hungry children. Mother aged thirty-two. Father is native Californian. Nipomo, California.”

From the Library of Congress.