Larry Cultrera is an archivist/photographer of the American roadside, specializing in documenting the American diner through his photographs. He is a longtime member of the Society for Commercial Archeology (SCA). Since October 2007, Cultrera has authored the Diner Hotline Weblog, which is a continuation of a column he penned for the SCA's Journal Magazine for over eighteen years. He has been researching diners and their history since 1980, although he can trace his interest back to his childhood in Medford, Massachusetts. He has photographed and kept a running log (now a computerized database) of over eight hundred of these truly unique American restaurants and has a collection of memorabilia consisting of everything from postcards, menus, matchbook covers and business cards to toy diner models, T-shirts and actual selected pieces of now demolished diners, such as marble countertops, exterior panels, signs and light fixtures.
Classic Diners of Massachusettsby Larry Cultrera
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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was the birthplace of the burgeoning "night lunch wagon" manufacturing industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These horse-drawn food carts eventually evolved into classic American diners. For many years, diner builders like the Worcester Lunch Car Company and J.B. Judkins Company operated in the Bay State, while few new diners opened for business after 1960. This left the state with a high concentration of some of the best-preserved diners built during the early to mid-twentieth century, including the Capitol Diner in Lynn, the Route 66 Diner in Springfield and Buddy's Diner in Somerville. Diner historian Larry Cultrera discusses this appetizing history and what should not be missed on the menus.
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