Attention!!! - (April 2007)

Finally!!! We have the new database driven list of Ward and Dickinson diners.  The main list will have quick information, and you can click on any diner to find more specific information. You may also leave messages about each diner, if you have any information to add.

Searchable too!!!   You can search the database by city, state or name.

Not completely finished :  Most of the diners up to 100 have specific information. I will add information for the rest of the diners as time goes on.  Though, you can add your own comments about ANY diners.

Thanks to :  The information for the first 100 diners comes from Vince Martonis from the Hanover History Center
Mysteries : Click here for a listing of mystery diners.  This will be a list of diners I need to research or were short lived diners.

 This is a link to a list of Diners past & present from the other Lake Erie region Companies

Ward & Dickinson Dining Cars of the Past

Note :  (11/29/15) I have decided to count double(grafted) diners as two diners. The company built approximately 320 diners.  This change has not yet been reflected in the database.

Note : (4/22/07) I will leave the list below here as every diner has not been recorded in the database until they can be better verified. Also, the database does not give the credit for the initial information. 

  The highest numbered diner we have found was #318 for a diner that the owners of Kuppy's Diner in Middletown, Pennsylvania brokered for a party in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, the Bakers.  (Side note: The Kupps sold their 1934 diner to the Bakers in August 1938 when they replaced their Ward & Dickinson diner with #310.  This "third" diner was news to the Kupp family.)  The #318 diner was sold in December 1939.  That means the company built 7 other diners between these two dates. In July of 1940, Harry & Franklyn Richardson were hired to build a new diner for Mr. Glenn Bush of Geneva, New York, to replace his circa 1929 Ward & Dickinson.  Harry worked for Ward & Dickinson, so if they were hired instead of Ward & Dickinson, it would make sense that Ward & Dickinson was not building new diners at that time.

Miss Pittsfield Diner - Pittsfield, MA  [partial in storage, Troy, NY]
Brownell's Lunch - Glens Falls, NY  2
5th Ave Diner - Lansingburgh, NY  3 {replaced by Silk City}
Kendall Diner - West of Silver Creek, NY
Kendall Diner(Bigger Replacement) - West of Silver Creek, NY
Starlight Diner - Westfield, NY  (Currently unsure)
Betsy Ross Diner - Toledo, OH   1
Handy Diner(Ina's) - Allentown, PA (Pair of Diners)  1
Troy [Mystery]  - Troy, NY
Conklin's Diner - LeRoy, NY (previously Perry, NY)
Twin Keys Diner - York Springs, PA
Milford Diner - Milford, PA  1927(repl prob 1950)   1
New College Diner - 126 W. College in State College, PA(prob 1930)   Russ Adamitz 1
Penn State Diner - 130 W. College in State College, PA(prob 1933)  (Bill Henning Sr. in 46) (out in 73) 1
Buttonwood Diner - Reading(1940) 1
Pat's Diner - Pittsburgh, PA 1
Moore's Diner[2 cars] - S. 6th St in Reading 1     NOTE - Not all Moore's proven to be 2 cars.
Moore's Diner[2 cars] - West Reading 1
Moore's Diner[2 cars] - 9th and Penn in Reading 1
Moore's Diner[2 cars] - N. 5th in Reading 1
Moore's Diner - Williamsport, PA
Philip's Diner - 325 Buttonwood in Reading (from Wilkinsburg, Pa (Feiler's or Scotty's))  gift from Lee   Dickinson to his grandson, Philip Rowe.  1
Baker's Diner - Elizabethtown, PA (1933) the first Kuppy's from Middletown +K  1
Chick's Diner - Scranton, Pa  opened in 1946, possibly a W&D, burned in 51. 1
Boston Diner - Peach St in Erie. Bob McKendrick upgraded to SC in 1948.  +K 1
Riche's Dining Car - Youngville, PA (renamed Blue Star Diner) 1
Dean's Diner - Indiana, PA (1927) 533 Philadelphia in 36  1  (This one or one of the others is possibly a Liberty)
Dean's Diner - Blairsville, PA (1934) 178 E. Market. Closed in 60  1 {replaced by Fodero}
Dean's Diner - Jct US 22 & 119  (1936)  1
Mystery Diner - Page X of Pennsylvania Diners.  1
Blanding's Diner - Lockport, NY  4
Renold's Diner - Salem, Oh  (renamed Shaffer's in Mount Alliance, Oh)  4
Dixie Diner - East Liverpool, Oh (renamed Midway Diner)  4
Kole's Diner - Lawton, MI  4 (previously in Kalamazoo, MI)
American Dining Car - Warren, PA 4 (renamed Riche's Dining Car)
Jackson Diner - Warren, PA 1
Ward 7 Diner - Ma  5
Hesparus Diner - Ma 5 {replaced by Sterling}
Covington Diner - Mansfield, PA
Canadian Electric Diners[At least five, probably ten, maybe more] - Toronto, Ont 6
?? Diner - Oakland, CA 1218 Franklin St. 6
Pittsburgh Dining Car[three] - 6 {this might be one of the Mystery diner listed above}
Frank M Hunter's Diner - somewhere in PA 6
Carrollet Diner - Auburn, NY {replaced by O'Mahony}
NY State Dining Company - Gloversville, NY 6
Lewis W Flynn's Diner - somewhere in PA 6
Electric Diner - Lockport, NY 6 {replaced by Mulholland}
Miss Ogdensburg Diner - Ogdensburg, NY 6 {possibly the one still standing}
Miss Tulsa Diner - ?? 6
Franklin Diner - Malone, NY 6
Morehead's Diner - Hamilton, OH 6  (moved to Gardiner, ME)
Wall's Dining Car - Hamilton, OH

Albion Diner - Albion, NY 7 {bigger replacement for the older Ward Dining Car}
Albion Diner - Albion, NY 7
Skip's Diner- Medina, NY 7
- Avon, NY 7
- Brockport, NY 7
- Niagara Falls, NY 7
Batavia Diner(Rippey's Grill) - Batavia, NY 7
Robert Z. Augram's Diner - Batavia, NY 9
Temple Diner - 5 miles north of Reading, Pa 4
Bradley's DeLuxe Diner - Syracuse, NY
 Ubel's Diner - Gowanda, NY 8
- Cleveland, Oh [30 dining cars] 9
Blanding's Dining Car - Bradford, PA
- Kane, PA 9 (Roy Payne first owner)
Jack & Andy Diners [3, possibly 4 diners] - Utica, NY
Cappy's Diner - Eldred, PA (previously Scranton, PA) 1
Swede's Diner - Ann Arbor, MI
Service Diner- Saratoga, NY
- Kittanning, Pa
Franklin Club Diner - Franklinville, NY (Later called Hibbard's Diner)
Club Diner - Albany, NY
Lil's Diner - Albany, NY
Auburn Diner - Auburn, Ind
Young's De Lux Diner - Waterbury, CT
 - LaPorte, IND
Elmira Diner - Elmira, NY 10
Reading Diner - east of Reading, PA on Philly Pike {Replaced with O'Mahony} 11
Mickey's Diner - Ilion, NY 12
Parkway Diner - Brooklyn, NY on Bay Parkway cor. 66th
Boulevard Diner - North Bergen, NJ
Diner - Palmyra, NY 13
Modern Diner - Schenectady, NY 14
Twin Diners - Charleston, WV 4
Diner - Kingston, NY 
Diner - Uniontown, PA  


  1. 1 - Brian Butko and/or his "Pennsylvania Diners"
  2. 2 - Glens Falls Library
  3. 3 - Bob Moore
  4. 4 - Daniel Zilka and/or American Diner Museum
  5. 5 - Gary Thomas
  6. 6 - ADM, Ward & Dickinson Brochure
  7. 7 - George N. Root Sr. in C.W. Lattin's article in Albion Advertiser
  8. 8 - Gowanda PennySaver News.  "Reflections" compiled by Mark Pankow.
  9. 9 - Silver Creek Times
  10. 10 - Chemung Valley Historical Society
  11. 11 - Archbury Foundation
  12. 12 - Ilion, NY Public Library
  13. 13 - Historic Palmyra
  14. 14 - Schenectady Gazette photo collection


Ward & Dickinson Dining Cars of the Present

  There are currently only a handful W & D Diners left standing(that we know of).  Some look better than others and show off more original features.  The biggest problem with W&D's are that they were not condusive to the booth clientelle, thusly, many were scrapped or traded in, while some were added on to.  These additions were sometimes done with respect to the dining car and other times with very little respect.

Related Articles

  Buffalo Courier Express Nov 3, 1972

Bygone Era Was Clovered with Roadside diners

 Earl B Richardson, of Westfield, came to Old Home Week in Silver Creek in 1908, and didn't return.  The little restaurant-on-wheels he had built and hauled into town was so popular, he stayed with the business.
  Many persons credit him with being the father of the roadside dining car that developed in the 20's and even flourished in the depression.
  The Westfielder's idea was to provide a lunch for workingmen who didn't have time to seek out a restaurant and wait for service.
  It was successful beyond expectation.  The little eating spots, built to suggest the railroad dining car with its swank and appeal, soon became a fixture in business and industrial neighborhoods across the country.
  Shops sprang up in Chautaugua County, turning out the portable diners.  The most notable was the Ward & Dickinson Dining Car Mfg. Co., Silver Creek, which at the height of production employed more than 100 craftsmen and shipped its output by rail.
  Tourists passing through the community would stop at the rambling plant and look over the cars lined up in the yard, awaiting shipment.
 "Pretty soon they'd sign up for a diner," recalls Lyle Allen Myers, Sr., Silver Creek, who headed up the paint and trim department at Ward & Dickenson. "They'd decide to go into the lunch car business back home.  Everyone was making money at it."
  Nothing less than cabinetry went into the diners.  Because they would be moved to their site on a set of four wagon wheels, they were built to withstand stress.
  "The supporting framework of beams were laid in the form of an arch held by truss rods," he notes. "As the car was built, its weight flattened out the frame and every joint was fitted under tension."
  A Curved roofline, windows in a row and the lighting added from a clerestory added to the dining car illusion.
  White enameled sheet metal sides emphasized this.  Windows were trimmed in green.
  The most popular model had 20 stools facing a counter, and a booth at each end.  "Battleship" linoleum, freen, covered the floor.  Interiors were apple green.
  So completely were the diners equipped that all a restauranteur had to do was hook up water, electricity and gas.  The table service, pots and pans, knives and spatulas were part of F.O.B. Silver Creek.
  Myers remembers when 18 of the units were paraded through town, drawn by truck, and loaded two to a flatcar, for shipment to Cleveland.
  "A customer coming through the door of a diner would hang his hat on a hook, throw one leg over a stool and do it in fewer than three steps."  Myers says.  "At noon, it was elbow to elbow eating."
  "Men loved to close to everything feeling in the diner.  One could see the counterman ladle out the chili from the steam table.  You could watch while he flipped pancakes on the grill."
  If you were going to a restaurant for dinner, you would dress up  ???. In the diner you wore overalls.
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