November 16, 2017: The Drive-Thru & Auto-Mobility
Yesterday’s write-up had me thinking more today about the origins of the drive-thru. The first one, according to Money magazine, was a hamburger joint called “Ten things you didn’t know about the fast food drive-thru” Red’s Giant Hamburger, in 1947.
The drive-thru is an interesting expression of car culture. However, I did find it fascinating to discover the link between drive-thrus and the militarization of society.
This is a question that demands much deeper exploration around oil’s social-cultural militarization. The Money article claims that:
“McDonald’s didn’t have a drive-thru until 1975. The fast food brand most closely associated with the drive-thru—and fast food in general, for that matter—had no drive-thru until 1975, when the company’s first was launched in Sierra Vista, Ariz. By that time, McDonald’s already had 3,000 restaurants worldwide and was opening locations in Nicaragua, the Bahamas, and Hong Kong.’ It also explains this was for the benefit of Army personnel, who were not supposed to get out of their cars when wearing fatigues.
And now we have drive-thrus for everything in North Americas: pharmacies, funeral homes, wedding ceremonies, bank services, coffee shops. Drive-thrus allow us to be siloed in our own vehicles. The fantasy of independence and free mobility associated with the imaginary around cars, in reality disrupts social cohesive and connection while relying in material ways one networks of publicly funded roadways and freeways that we take for granted. So easy to forget which of our independences are facilitated by publicly funded infrastructure projects. Why when the budget cuts come, is there never a cut to roadway maintenance and always to education and health?
There is much more to delve into this topic, but that is it for today.
(Image: Drive-thru pharmacy at night.)