SOCIETY for

COMMERCIAL

ARCHEOLOGY

Advocates for America’s
Roadside Heritage

SOCIETY for

COMMERCIAL

ARCHEOLOGY

Advocates for America’s
Roadside Heritage

SOCIETY for

COMMERCIAL

ARCHEOLOGY

Advocates for
America’s
Roadside Heritage

Photo: Vintage Wisconsin Dells

Celebrating the signs, structures and experiences of the 20th-century American roadscape.

The SCA is a member-supported organization. Join now and gain exclusive access to a full calendar of in-person and online events, recordings, subscriptions to the SCA Journal and Road Notes, full-text access to our website, free downloads and more!
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Weirdness by the Road

Join SCA board member Bill Swislow for his hilarious tour of roadside oddities. No login required.
recorded December 15, 2021

WATCH RECORDING

Celebrating the signs, structures and experiences of the 20th-century American roadscape.

Join now and gain exclusive access to live and virtual events, the SCA Journal and Road Notes, and lots more.
Join Now Annual Appeal

Weirdness by the Road

Join SCA board member Bill Swislow for his hilarious tour of roadside oddities. No login required.
recorded December 15, 2021

WATCH RECORDING

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Upcoming Events

Isaly’s Book by Brian Butko

Brian Butko: Klondike Bars, Roadside Giants, and Other SCA Fun

February 9, 2022 at 8:00pm: SCA members are invited to register now for our next Zoom event – Brian Butko: Klondike Bars, Roadside Giants, and Other SCA Fun, a look back at stories and photos from his long association with the SCA.
Learn More / Register
<span style="color: red">IT’S ON!</span> SCA 2022 Summer Tour

IT’S ON! SCA 2022 Summer Tour

Our marvelous mid-century weekend in Queens, New York, sponsored by the Society for Commercial Archeology and co-host Retro Roadmap, is back on schedule. Cocktails and tours start June 17, 2022. Please see details.
Learn More / Register

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Zoom Recordings

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News

NEW! THE JIM SEELEN MOTEL IMAGES COLLECTION

14,000 MOTELS

SCA member Jim “Motel King” Seelen’s motel images collection is now part of our library. This database contains more than 23,000 images with details on more than 14,000 motels that once operated in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

View Database

NEW! THE JIM SEELEN MOTEL IMAGES COLLECTION

14,000 MOTELS

SCA member Jim “Motel King” Seelen’s motel images collection is part of our library. This database contains more than 23,000 images with details on more than 14,000 motels that once operated in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

View Database

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Articles

Lunch is Still Being Served at Woolworth’s in Bakersfield

Lunch is Still Being Served at Woolworth’s in Bakersfield

By Rolando Pujol: Woolworth’s went bust in 1997. However, there is a place in America where you can still walk into a Woolworth’s building with all of its original signage and order a burger and shake at a fully functioning, original Woolworth’s luncheonette, complete with chrome counter and red vinyl seating. 
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Ephemera: Harnessing Buffalo

Ephemera: Harnessing Buffalo

The image-makers of Buffalo didn’t let natural history interfere with excellent branding potential, particularly for the Pan American Exposition of 1901.
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The Road to Ruin

The Road to Ruin

By Eric Schaefer: More than any other form of motion picture, exploitation movies developed a symbiotic relationship with American road culture over some five decades in the mid-20th century.
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5 Faves: Tim O’Brien’s Roadside Pic(k)s

5 Faves: Tim O’Brien’s Roadside Pic(k)s

In his latest book, Tim O’Brien pays homage to the real stars of the roadside: the creators of public art and commercial display whose visions were fulfilled without the baggage of cultural influence.
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Teal Roofs and Pecan Logs

Teal Roofs and Pecan Logs

By Lisa Raflo and Jeffrey Durbin: Though it now mostly follows current corporate trends, Stuckey's was once a daring innovator whose Pecan Shoppes were the precursors of the convenience store.
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Traces of J.B. Jackson By Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

Traces of J.B. Jackson By Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

Traces of J.B. Jackson: The Man Who Taught Us to See Everyday America
By Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz
University of Virginia Press, 2020
Hardcover, 328 pages, 51 color and b&w illus., $39.50

Reviewed by Philip Langdon

If commercial archeology had a patron saint, it would doubtless be John Brinckerhoff Jackson. A writer of originality and eloquence, Jackson focused on commonplace buildings and settings for much of his life, including gas stations, roads, signs, and other elements of an automobile-propelled nation.
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Dr. Patrick’s
Postcard Roadside

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Gary’s Duck Inn

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Gary’s Duck Inn

Gary Starling built his Duck Inn on the Orange Blossom Trail, marked out as the main tourist highway through central Florida in 1934.
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DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Mammoth Cave vs. Great Onyx Cave

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Mammoth Cave vs. Great Onyx Cave

When Mammoth Cave National Park was established in 1941, Great Onyx Cave, three miles from the entrance to Mammoth Cave, was not included, its owners continuing to operate the show cave in competition with Mammoth.
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DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Colonial Modern Cabins

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Colonial Modern Cabins

Cabins clustered around the home headhouse along the main road at the edge of town had become standardized by the time this 1940s postcard was produced to advertise Colonial "MODERN" Cabins just west of Richmond, Indiana.
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The Society for Commercial Archeology is an all-volunteer road-tripping organization fueled entirely by your support.

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