Manufacturer: Syracuse China
User: Horn & Hardart Co., Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey
Pattern: St. Elmo
Date of cup: 1920s
Notes: Even though there are several other nearly identical (to each other) stock patterns that have been backstamped as belonging to Horn & Hardart, the St. Elmo stock pattern is clearly in use on page 53 of "The Automat." Two photos above show a Horn & Hardart coffee can featuring a St. Elmo cup and saucer receiving coffee from a dolphin-head dispenser.
However, no piece of St. Elmo has ever been found to be backstamped by Horn & Hardart, but its use has now been documented there (2021) with the release of a documentary film about Horn & Hardart produced by Lisa Hurwitz. Throughout the film one can see St. Elmo in use, as well as other better documented patterns.
White body with dark green leaf and medallion swag design beneath ornate double-handled urns.
The first Horn and Hardart Automat opened June 12, 1902 at 818 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, PA. The first Automat in New York City opened 10 years later at 1557 Broadway, Times Square, between 46th & 47th Streets. The distributor noted in the backstamps shown below – Wright, Tyndale and Van Roden – was based in Philadelphia and went out of business circa 1928. Based on the backstamp information, it seems that the distributor provided china for Philadelphia and New York.
A 1921 ad in Plant-Restaurant Management for The Stearnes Company in Chicago touts its outfitting of "Horn & Hardart's new Automat and Cafeteria on Sheridan Road near Wilson Avenue, Chicago." And Jan Whitaker, writing in a September 8, 2019 piece for her Restaurant-ing through history, confirms the presence of two Horn & Hardarts operating in Chicago in 1922.
For an overview of H&H as an iconic establishment, see Horn & Hardart – Iconic Establishments.
For related info:
Horn & Hardart by Mayer China
Horn & Hardart 2 by Homer Laughlin China
Horn & Hardart 4 by Grindley Hotel Ware Co., LTD, England
Horn & Hardart 5 by Syracuse China
Horn & Hardart 6 by Shenango China
Horn & Hardart 7 by Greenwood Pottery
Horn and Hardart Automat as an Iconic Establishment
The Automat Horn & Hardart Movie (working title prior to release circa 2021)