You'll never eat at these fast food joints again.
Today you can find McDonald's, Burger King, & Taco Bell everywhere, but 50 years ago they were rare. These are now-defunct fast food brands.
In 1925, the first Howard Johnson's opened as a drugstore in Quincy, Massachusetts. It had double the legally-required minimum amount of fat & was very popular.
The 1926 White Tower in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was inspired by White Castle. It was designed to look like a castle, & restaurants were clean & white – a welcome contrast to the dirty.
White Castle inspired more than White Tower. The original Little Taverns were castle-shaped. Harry F. Duncan opened the chain in Louisville, Kentucky in 1927. By the 1940s, it had 50 location.
Valle's Steak House was popular for years. It opened lobster & steak restaurants on the East Coast in 1933. It had fast service & efficient kitchens.
Wimpy was founded in 1934 in Bloomington, Indiana. The burger & fries joint, named after Popeye's J Wellington Wimpy, expanded to Chicago in 1936 & peaked with 26 locations in six states.
Burger Chef was McDonald's first real competitor, founded in the 1950s by brothers Frank & Donald Thomas. It sold a hamburger, fries, & a drink for 45 cents in Indianapolis.
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