Friday, September 5, 2008
Owl Night Lunch Wagon
According to the book, "American Diner Then and Now" by Richard Gutman, the Owl Night Lunch Wagon, acquired in dilapidated condition in 1927 and restored to its reconstructed glory shortly after, is the only remaining horse-drawn lunch wagon. It is a very good example of "fast food" from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
According to a Ford cousin, Ford Bryan, in his book "Clara: Mrs. Henry Ford," Henry Ford patronized the Owl Night Lunch Wagon during his years working at Edison Illuminating. It was pulled to and from the curbside at Michigan and Griswold streets in Detroit by Reddy the bay horse, owned by John Colquhoun. It opened at 6 p.m. and left at daybreak - this at a time when restaurants in Detroit closed up by 8 p.m. There were originally stools inside the wagon and a window for take-out service.
This 1890's diner was originally placed inside the Village in 1933, serving hamburgers to those first patrons of the Village.
It was then moved inside the Henry Ford Museum for years until recently, when it was brought back to the outdoor Village, where workers continue to sell food to hungry patrons.