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With a fork for an hour hand and butter knife for a minute hand, this week’s clock could only be attached to an eatery. This one is none other than South Philly’s most famous diner, The Melrose.
The Melrose Diner has been a staple of culinary Americana since the 1930s. The diner didn’t move to its current location, however, until 1956, when it was erected on a triangle formed by 15th, Snyder, and Passyunk, where a police station once stood. The original Melrose Diner was just across Passyunk Avenue.
Architecturally, the Melrose is exemplary of 1950s American diners. Its clock, however, is the building’s defining feature: a coffee cup face with silverware for hands. 1950s kitsh at its most endearing.
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About the author
Philip Jablon is a photo-journalist who splits his time between his native Philadelphia and his surrogate Thailand. In 2010 he earned an M.A. in Sustainable Development from Chiang Mai University. Since 2008 he has built a photographic archive of stand-alone movie theaters across Southeast Asia as part of his Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project. He is interested in the architecture, development, and social history of both Philadelphia and Southeast Asia.
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