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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Ripped from the pages of the SCA Journal!

“The Road to Ruin!” Eric Schaefer’s exploration of exploitation films and roadside culture.

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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

Ripped from the pages of the SCA Journal!

“The Road to Ruin!” Eric Schaefer’s exploration of exploitation films and roadside culture.

READ ARTICLE

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Upcoming Events

May 19 Zoom Event: Jeremy Ebersole: A Sight to Dwell Upon and Never Forget: Illuminating Strategies for Saving Neon Signs

May 19 Zoom Event: Jeremy Ebersole: A Sight to Dwell Upon and Never Forget: Illuminating Strategies for Saving Neon Signs

May 19, 2021: We invite you to register to join SCA board member and Milwaukee Preservation Alliance Executive Director Jeremy Ebersole as he dives into his Master’s thesis on neon sign preservation.
Learn More / Register
<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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News

SCA Weekly News Review: May 9, 2021

SCA Weekly News Review: May 9, 2021

Motels, milk, Ming Wah and more ...
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SCA Weekly News Review: May 2, 2021

SCA Weekly News Review: May 2, 2021

Six stories to plan a road trip by.
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SCA Weekly News Review: April 25, 2021

SCA Weekly News Review: April 25, 2021

Nuthin‘ but good news this week ...
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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 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

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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5 Faves: Fredricksburg, Texas

5 Faves: Fredricksburg, Texas

By Mike Carsten – Historic preservation is vital to residents of Fredericksburg, Texas. Although there are many memorable places for commercial archeologists, here are my five faves.
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Dr. Patrick’s
Postcard Roadside

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Kalamazoo Mall

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Kalamazoo Mall

Two blocks of Burdick Street were closed and reconstructed with mall-like street furniture, water features, flower beds, trees and grass in an effort to reinvigorate a retail district actively being siphoned off to the suburbs.
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Streamline Hotel

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Streamline Hotel

The Streamline opened in 1941 as if a Miami Beach-Moderne hotel was dropped 260 miles north in Daytona.
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DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Good-Bye Pennsylvania 6-5000

DR. PATRICK’S POSTCARD ROADSIDE: Good-Bye Pennsylvania 6-5000

When New York City’s Hotel Pennsylvania opened in 1919 it was the largest hotel in the world, with 2,200 rooms each with its own private bathroom, then an unprecedented amenity for a hotel of this scale.
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