05/20/2005: From the "Learn something new every day" department:
The first drive through hamburger joint that I can remember is Jack in the Box, which started building the little glass and metal boxes (with the trademark funky jack-in-the-box to bellow your order into) in the St. Louis area in the early '70s. For that reason, I tend to think of drive through burger joints as being a fairly recent phenomenon.
I should know better.
I don't know if they're the first, but I see from the webpage for California's iconic "In-N-Out Burger" chain that I-N-OB had started building drive through stands (with speaker boxes to take your order) since 1948.
Len on 05.20.05 @ 07:22 AM CST