A chapter of American history quietly drew to a close in New York City on April 9, 1991, when the country’s last Horn & Hardart Automat shut down. During the Depression, there were hundreds of these Automats, mostly in New York City, dispensing macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and coconut cream pies from their famous windowed, coin-operated compartments. David Isay visited the last of them, on 200 East 42nd Street, on the day it closed.

Recorded in New York City.

This documentary comes from Sound Portraits Productions, a mission-driven independent production company that was created by Dave Isay in 1994. Sound Portraits was the predecessor to StoryCorps and was dedicated to telling stories that brought neglected American voices to a national audience.