Old McDonald’s: Historical Photos, Vintage Advertisements And The Original Menus, 1950s-1980s

Source: McDonald's

Old McDonald’s, as it was known in the 1950s through the 1980s, was a fast-food institution that revolutionized the way Americans consumed food on-the-go.

The McDonald brothers were born in New Hampshire in the early 1900s, and later moved to California to seek their fortune. They started their first restaurant in 1937, called the Airdrome, which featured a unique menu of barbecue sandwiches and hot dogs. However, the brothers soon realized that the restaurant was not as profitable as they had hoped, and decided to make some changes.

Source: Mcdonald’s

The first McDonald’s restaurant was opened on May 15, 1940 the brothers reopened the restaurant as “McDonald’s Barbecue,” in San Bernardino, California. Featuring a new menu that focused on hamburgers, french fries, and milkshakes. They also introduced a new system of food preparation and service, which would later become the foundation of the fast food industry.

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Kokkte.org

One of the earliest McDonald’s vintage ads featured a simple black and white photo of the original McDonald’s location in San Bernardino, California, with the tagline “Lunch for 25 cents” written across the top. This was back in the days when a hamburger, fries, and a drink would cost you less than a dollar!

Source: Mcdonald’s

Their menu was simple, consisting of just hamburgers, fries, and drinks. But what set the McDonald’s drive-in apart from other restaurants of the time was its emphasis on speed and efficiency. The brothers developed a unique system that allowed them to prepare and serve food quickly, which became the basis of the fast food industry.

Source: Reddit

In the early 1950s, the brothers opened a new McDonald’s restaurant in nearby Phoenix, Arizona. This location featured the now-famous golden arches, and was the first to use the name “McDonald’s.” The restaurant was a huge success, and soon the McDonald brothers were opening new locations across the country.
In 1954, the McDonald brothers met Ray Kroc, a businessman who was interested in franchising their concept on a national scale. Kroc eventually bought the rights to the McDonald’s name and system, and transformed the company into the global fast food giant that it is today.

Source: Getty Images

Over the years, McDonald’s menu has evolved significantly, with new items being added and old items being phased out or updated. In the 1960s, for example, the restaurant introduced its signature burger, the Big Mac, which quickly became one of the chain’s most popular items. In the 1970s, the Quarter Pounder was introduced, featuring a larger beef patty than the standard hamburger. In the 1980s, McDonald’s began to expand its menu to include more non-beef options, such as Chicken McNuggets and Filet-O-Fish sandwiches.

Source: Unknown
Source: Amazon

The first McDonald’s drive-through restaurant was opened in 1975 in Sierra Vista, Arizona, USA. The drive-through concept was developed as a way to serve customers more quickly and conveniently, particularly those who were in a hurry or had children in the car.

Source: Mcdonald’s

As the McDonald’s system proved successful, the company began to expand rapidly. In the 1960s and 1970s, McDonald’s developed a franchising system that allowed the company to expand even more quickly. The company’s franchise model allowed individual entrepreneurs to open their own McDonald’s restaurants while adhering to the company’s strict standards and guidelines.
Over time, McDonald’s continued to innovate and adapt to changing consumer preferences and trends.