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

An SCA membership buys a world of adventure. A full calendar of tours, conferences and online presentations. Subscriptions to our celebrated semi-annual journal and quarterly newsletter. Free access to our website and vast digital library. And so much more.
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John Margilies Prints

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Own a Margolies!

The SCA is offering a VERY LIMITED number of signed John Margolies prints for sale.

BUY NOW

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.
Join NowAnnual Appeal

John Margilies Prints

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Own a Margolies!

The SCA is offering a VERY LIMITED number of signed John Margolies prints for sale.

BUY NOW

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Upcoming Events

<span style="color: red">REGISTER:</span> Googie Modern: Architectural Drawings of Armet Davis Newlove

REGISTER: Googie Modern: Architectural Drawings of Armet Davis Newlove

December 7, 2022: Join architect and historian Alan Hess as he shares discoveries from his newest book, Googie Modern: Architectural Drawings of Armet Davis Newlove, (with Michael Murphy) about that firm’s groundbreaking designs that brought Modernism to the masses in coffee shops, motels, and bowling alleys.
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<span style="color: red">SAVE THE DATE:</span> Amused in Allegheny: 46th SCA Annual Conference and Tours

SAVE THE DATE: Amused in Allegheny: 46th SCA Annual Conference and Tours

Join us in Western, Pennsylvania, May 31 - June 4, 2023, for Amused in Allegheny: 46th Annual SCA Conference and Tours, with our local hosts and guides, ex officio board members Brian Butko and Kevin J. Patrick, PhD.
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<span style="color: red">RECAP: </span>The Golden Age of Air Travel

RECAP: The Golden Age of Air Travel

Join SCA board member Tim O’Brien as he recaps the many, many highlights of our summer tour, “The Golden Age of Air Travel.” As you will see, an amazingly good time was had by all.
Read All About It

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Event 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

Lost Photos, Found Memories: Motels

Lost Photos, Found Memories: Motels

By Edward Engel: Images of roadside cabin courts and teepee-shaped motel rooms shot by honeymooners or vacationing families in the heyday of American tourist travel are among the thousands of “found photos” I own. I hope you enjoyed this sampling of images of motels and the folks that stay in them.
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Exposing the “Motel Menace”

Exposing the “Motel Menace”

FULL ARTICLE by Lyell Henry – The tourist camps that had at first been hailed as delightful expressions of American character and genius now were as likely to be viewed as hotbeds of sordidness and immorality, even as “Camps of Crime,” said J. Edgar Hoover.
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Tonopah, Nevada Clowns Around with the American Psyche

Tonopah, Nevada Clowns Around with the American Psyche

By Elsa Court – A Facebook mention about an article on Tonopah, Nevada and its Clown Motel in the Fall 2018 SCA Journal really hit a primal nerve, generating more engagement and attracting more shares than almost any previous post. Here's the article.
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<span style="color: red">RECAP: </span>The Golden Age of Air Travel

RECAP: The Golden Age of Air Travel

Join SCA board member Tim O’Brien as he recaps the many, many highlights of our summer tour, “The Golden Age of Air Travel.” As you will see, an amazingly good time was had by all.
Read More
A Good Night’s Sleep

A Good Night’s Sleep

By Lyle Miller – The sign beckons you, the building interests you, and the office welcomes you, but the room itself defines most of your motel lodging experience ...
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Landrum’s – The Biggest Little Diner

Landrum’s – The Biggest Little Diner

FULL ARTICLE by Mella Rothwell Harmon – Landrum’s Diner in Reno, NV, is small, just 240 square feet, yet it plays an unusually large role in local history.
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Dr. Patrick’s
Postcard Roadside

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

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

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 ...
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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.
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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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