1948 - In-N-Out Burger opens in Baldwin Park, California. The fast-food drive-thru is born.
1953 - Roller-skating carhops become a signature at the first Sonic drive-in.
1953 - The First Christian Church of Daytona Beach converts a drive-in theater into the first drive-in church.
1975 - Soldiers from Fort Huachuca were forbidden to get out of their cars in army fatigues. McDonald's solves the problem by opening its first drive-thru in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
1989 - Grieve on the go? Chicago's Gatling's Funeral Home introduces a drive-thru viewing option.
2004 - McDonald's and other chains begin outsourcing order taking. You may be eating in Wyoming, but the person you're ordering from is in Los Angeles.
2006 - A Subway in Mentor, Ohio, implements touch-screen ordering in the drive-thru.
2009 - Pennsylvania Representative Kevin P. Murphy unveils a drive-thru office to speed up dealing with constituents.
The Burgerville chain opens its drive-thru to bicyclists.
A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.