This is what it was like to go to McDonald’s in the 1950s

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The first official McDonald's franchise opened on April 15, 1955, in Des Plaines, Illinois.

The McDonald brothers, Richard and Maurice, began selling barbecue and burgers out of their drive-up restaurants in the 1940s.

However, it wasn't until Ray Kroc stumbled upon the brothers' operation in 1954 that McDonald's started to resemble the fast-food giant we know today.

The first McDonald's franchise opened on April 15, 1955, and the experience of visiting the restaurant, from the menu to how you would order, was vastly different.

Here's what it was like to go to McDonald's in the 1950s.

The first official McDonald's franchise opened on April 15, 1955, in Des Plaines, Illinois.
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Exterior view of the first McDonald's fast-food restaurant with its neon arches illuminated at night, Des Plaines, Illinois.

In 1955, Ray Kroc founded McDonald's System, Inc., which would inevitably become the McDonald's Corporation we know today, and opened his first franchised location.

By 1958, McDonald's had sold 100 million burgers.

Though the McDonald's is no longer in operation, the site was turned into a museum to commemorate what it was like to visit the restaurant in 1955.
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The McDonald's No. 1 museum's exterior.

The McDonald's No. 1 museum was created to replicate what it would have been like to visit the McDonald's franchise when it opened — a very different experience from what it's like to go to McDonald's today.

Before there were drive-thru windows and delivery apps, McDonald's customers would drive into the parking lot and place their orders at the counter.
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Customers could walk up to the window and place their orders.

The first McDonald's advertised its "Speedee Service System," a predecessor of the drive-thru model.

The restaurant's famous red-and-white design was designed by architect Stanley Meston. However, after the McDonald brothers saw the design for the first time, they said that the roof looked too flat. It was then that Meston added the now-iconic golden arches to the building's roof. 

The oldest still-operating restaurant featuring the original red-and-white design is located in Downey, California.

The original menu only had nine items on it — hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, milk, root beer, orangeade, Coca Cola, coffee, and three kinds of milkshakes: chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.
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The menu only had nine items on it.

The original McDonald's menu dated back to when the McDonald's brothers were serving food at their drive-in restaurants in 1948.

In 1949, potato chips were swapped with french fries and McDonald's began selling milkshakes.

When customers placed their orders at the counter, a server would write them down on a ticket like this one.
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The first McDonald's locations took orders using a ticket like this one.

At the first McDonald's location, every item cost less than 25 cents and hamburgers were only 15 cents. However, burgers could also be purchased by the dozen.

The Speedee Service System that made McDonald's successful was originally based off Henry Ford's assembly-line production of automobiles.
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McDonald's revolutionized fast-food with its speedy service.

Every McDonald's worker had a specific job, and most of the food was preassembled before customers even ordered. This allowed McDonald's locations to serve their food much faster than their competitors. 

Unlike other fast-food restaurants that made their burgers to order, all McDonald's burgers were made the same way and placed under a heat vent ready to serve.
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McDonald's burgers used to have the chain's original mascot, Speedee, on the packaging.

All burgers were pre-made with ketchup, mustard, onions, and two pickles. If you wanted to order your hamburger a different way, you would have to wait just a little bit longer.

When McDonald's first opened, its fries looked and tasted pretty similar to what you'll get today.
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The fries also came with the same Speedee packaging.

The chain marketed its signature shoestring fries as "salty goodness."

If you stopped by a McDonald's in 1955, you'd definitely want to pick up one of the chain's Triple Thick Milkshakes, made in what was called a Multimixer.
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Ray Kroc found the McDonald's brothers while selling Multimixers.

McDonald's today might look very different had it not been for the invention of the Multimixer. Ray Kroc first met the McDonald brothers in 1954 while attempting to sell them more Multimixers for their restaurants.

It was then that Kroc introduced the idea of franchising their business and opening his first location.

Back in 1955, there were no dining rooms or drive-thrus, but McDonald's thrived on its drive-up model.
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The first McDonald's signs advertised the chain's 15-cent burgers.

Whether customers took their burgers on the road or chose to sit in the parking lot, gazing up at the McDonald's sign advertising its 15-cent burgers, the experience started what would eventually lead to the expansion of the No. 1 fast-food chain in the world.

Just over a decade later, there were 1,000 McDonald's locations in the US. Today there are more than 36,000 McDonald's restaurants in more than 100 countries.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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