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The Transfer Station neighborhood of Union City, New Jersey was the site, in 1912, of the first lunch wagon built by Jerry and Daniel O'Mahoney and John Hanf, which was bought for $800 and operated by restaurant entrepreneur Michael Griffin, who chose the location for its copious foot traffic. The wagon helped spark New Jersey's golden age of diner manufacturing, which in turn made the state the diner capital of the world. In the decades that followed, nearly all major U. S. diner manufacturers, including Jerry O'Mahoney Inc. , started in New Jersey. Jerry O'Mahony (1890-1969), who hailed from Bayonne, New Jersey, is credited by some to have made the first such "diner". The O'Mahony Diner Company of Elizabeth, New Jersey, produced 2,000 diners from 1917 to 1952. Only approximately twenty remain throughout the United States and abroad. Others more credibly credit Philip H. Duprey and Grenville Stoddard, who established the Worcester Lunch Car and Carriage Manufacturing Company in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1906, when O'Mahony was still just 16.

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