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

On the Road Since 1977

Join us – online and on the road – as we explore the 20th-century landscape of drive-ins, diners, neon signs and roadside attractions.

An SCA membership buys a world of adventure. Tours, conferences and online presentations, subscriptions to our semi-annual journal and quarterly newsletter (including free digital back issues), and more!

Memberships start at: $55 a year or just $5 a month.

Join NowBenefits

Location Unknown

Lost Photos / Found Memories

AMUSEMENT
PARKS

The latest from Edward Engle’s evocative collection.

Read Article

Location Unknown

Lost Photos / Found Memories

AMUSEMENT
PARKS

The latest from Edward Engle’s evocative collection.

Read Article

On the Road Since 1977

Join us as we explore the 20th-century landscape of drive-ins, diners, neon signs and roadside attractions.

An SCA membership buys a world of adventure.

Memberships start at: $55 a year or just $5 a month.
Join NowBenefits

Location Unknown

Lost Photos / Found Memories

AMUSEMENT
PARKS

The latest from Edward Engle’s evocative collection.

Read Article

SCA EVENTS

Autorama Facade

ZOOM EVENT: John O’Leary IV – James Melton Autorama

Wednesday, June 12 at 8pm EDT: Join John J. O’Leary IV on his quest to visually re-create the Melton Museum (1948-1953) and the James Melton Autorama (1953-1961) from old photos and other items from people who visited the Autorama decades ago. Register | More Info
<span style="color: red">ZOOM RECORDING:</span> Andrew Danish - Palm Springs Weekend

ZOOM RECORDING: Andrew Danish – Palm Springs Weekend

To mark the 25th anniversary of his book Palm Springs Weekend, join author Andrew Dasnish for a discussion on how his book helped transform the perception of the desert town from a backwater to the center of international modernism. Watch Video
Pine-to-Palms Highway Postcard

ZOOM RECORDING: Steve Lech – The Pines-to-Palms Highway: Connecting Southern California’s Mountains and Deserts for 90+ Years

Join author Steve Lech, Riverside County, California historian, for the fascinating story of the Pines-to-Palms Highway and the two men who led the amazing community effort to get it built during the Great Depression. Watch Video
SCA 2024 Road Trip - A Walk Through Nashville’s Neon Canyon

2024 ROAD TRIP: : A Walk Through Nashville’s Neon Canyon

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! Get ready for a great time! Announcing the SCA 2024 Road Trip: A Walk Through Nashville’s Neon Canyon. September 20-22, 2024. An amazing 3 days of neon, music, food, fun and history. More Info | Register
<span style="color: red">RECAP:</span> SCA’s 46th Annual Conference and Tour – Amused in the Alleghenies

RECAP: SCA’s 46th Annual Conference and Tour – Amused in the Alleghenies

Whether you were on the bus or not, join tour guide extraordinaire, Kevin Patrick, as he retraces our whacky and wonderful journey along historic U.S. Route 6.

EVENT RECORDINGS

ROADSIDE 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

SCA ARTICLES

Location Unknown

Lost Photos Found Memories: Amusement Parks

Here are some of the amusement or theme park photos I’ve collected over the last ten years. Unidentified locations may be smaller venues such as carnivals or fairs. For those unknown images, email edwardengel@yahoo.com with any clues to identification.
Mary Anne Erickson

Brownie Camera Beginnings: The Roadside Art of Mary Anne Erickson

Hudson Valley resident Mary Anne Erickson combines her passion for color, beauty, design, and fine taste in documenting the demise of the American roadside culture of “Mom and Pop” establishments.
Gas, Food & Lodging: Fuel for Bertrand Goldberg’s Futuristic Architecture

Gas, Food & Lodging: Fuel for Bertrand Goldberg’s Futuristic Architecture

A common criticism of roadside buildings is that, from an architectural perspective, they’re not impressive creations. That statement, however, is not always valid. Bertrand “Bud” Goldberg is a fascinating example of a famed architect who initially displayed considerable design talents in small-scale commercial structures.
Manning’s: The First Coffee Empire to Emerge from Seattle

Manning’s: The First Coffee Empire to Emerge from Seattle

FULL ARTICLE by Tracey Pemberton and Mike Elmore – In 1908, an elaborate advertisement rose above the others at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Protruding outward from the top of the stall and looming over the heads of shoppers, the Manning brothers promised “Coffee Served Hot,” with small cups of coffee that cost just 2¢ and large cups priced at 4¢. An empire was born.
Literary Pilgrimage - How Anne of Green Gables Transformed an Island Community

Literary Pilgrimage – How Anne of Green Gables Transformed an Island Community

Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908 and achieved instant acclaim. Much of the appeal was the creation of Anne Shirley — a spunky, independent, and intelligent heroine with a fertile imagination. No fictional character has ever contributed so dominantly to a province’s tourism as red-haired, pig-tailed Anne.
Next Exit: Live Bait - Hayward, Wisconsin

Next Exit: Live Bait – Hayward, Wisconsin

Large fish advertise a fishing tackle shop in Hayward, Wisconsin.

Dr. Patrick’s Postcard Roadside

Blue and White Restaurant, Warren, Pennsylvania, vintage postcard

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: The Blue and White Restaurant

Constantine Spiridon and his two brothers opened the Blue and White Restaurant at 211 Liberty Street in downtown Warren, PA, in 1925. It was one and a half blocks north of US 6, certainly the coast-to-coast reference on this postcard showing its 1937 Art Moderne remodel.
Transatlantic Steamship Terminal postcard

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: New York City’s West Side Piers

A circa-1960 postcard shows New York City’s Transatlantic Steamship Terminal in the Hudson River between 44th and 54th streets ...
DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Cedar Tourist Court

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Cedar Tourist Court

Westward across the plains of Kansas, US 40 originally split at Manhattan with the south branch following the Victory Highway through Salina (current US 40), and the north branch following the Midland Trail through Clay Center.

No ads. Which is kind of ironic, given what we’re into.

The Society for Commercial Archeology is an all-volunteer road-tripping organization fueled entirely by your support.

Join the SCA

Standard and donation-level memberships available