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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RUST BELT MALLWAKER

Join Ohio native Jessica Anshutz for a photographic journey into the emptying (and empty) malls of America’s Rust Belt.

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

RUST BELT MALLWALKER

Join Ohio native Jessica Anshutz for a photographic journey into the emptying (and empty) malls of America’s Rust Belt.

WATCH RECORDING

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Upcoming Events

ZOOM EVENT – Apron Art with Brian Gallaugher

ZOOM EVENT – Apron Art with Brian Gallaugher

Register Today for our next Zoom Event: Apron Art with Brian Gallaugher, November 17 @ 8:00PM EDT. Join Brian for an illustrated exploration of of “apron art” – entranceway floors with mosaic or terrazzo designs – including technical, social and artistic aspects.
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<span style="color: red; font-weight: 700">RESCHEDULED:</span> Summer Tour

RESCHEDULED: Summer Tour

PLEASE NOTE: Our marvelous mid-century weekend in Queens, New York, sponsored by the Society for Commercial Archeology and co-host Retro Roadmap, has been postponed to 2022 (at the earliest) due the COVID-19 crisis. 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

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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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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

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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Book Review: Traces of J.B. Jackson

Book Review: Traces of J.B. Jackson

By Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, reviewed by Philip Langdon: If commercial archeology had a patron saint, it would doubtless be John Brinckerhoff Jackson.
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C-Span: Lectures in History –20th-Century Roadside Attractions

C-Span: Lectures in History –20th-Century Roadside Attractions

In this C-SPAN presentation, University of Mary Washington Professor (and SCA member) Christine Henry talks about the history of roadside attractions and her own experience traveling to a freshwater pond in Ohio called the Blue Hole.
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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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