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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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Covers of the 1990 issues of the SCA Journal

Free for the Reading!

The SCA Journal digital archive is now complete. Members can download all issues for free.

VISIT ARCHIVE

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 Now

Covers of the 1990 issues of the SCA Journal

Free for the Reading!

The SCA Journal digital archive is now complete. Members can download all issues for free.

VISIT ARCHIVE

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SCA Events

<span style="color: red">CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS:</span> Amused in the Alleghenies: SCA 46th Annual Conference and Tours

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: Amused in the Alleghenies: SCA 46th Annual Conference and Tours

We are currently soliciting abstracts for the June 2nd presentation session at Amused in the Alleghenies: SCA 46th Annual Conference and Tours. Hurry, deadline for abstracts is March 15th, 2023. Registration for the May 31 - June 4 event will be open soon. Submission instructions and event details at the link.
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<span style="color: red">ZOOM EVENT:</span> Brian Butko – Greetings from the Lincoln Highway

ZOOM EVENT: Brian Butko – Greetings from the Lincoln Highway

Join Brian Butko, author of 4 books on the Lincoln Highway, as takes us on tour of the fabled highway from New York to San Francisco, past mountaintop lookouts, through the gumbo of Iowa, and stopping at vintage cafes and cabin courts. We’ll learn where the road went in 1913, and why, and how that all changed with the coming of federal highways in 1926. REGISTER.
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<span style="color: red">ZOOM RECORDING:</span> Bill Swislow – Roadside Art Environments<br /><span style="font-size: 72%; color: red">NO LOGIN REQUIRED</span>

ZOOM RECORDING: Bill Swislow – Roadside Art Environments
NO LOGIN REQUIRED

Join SCA board member, Bill Swislow, as we look at some of the country’s oddest roadside attractions, the ones so eccentric that calling them works of art is the only way to do them justice.
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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.
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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

Dining in Transit: Holidays Aloft

Dining in Transit: Holidays Aloft

From the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library Blog: Airlines began serving special holiday meals in the late 1930s. Since a meal would be served inflight anyway, why not add a bit of fun and festiveness to the service, especially on days when people would prefer not to fly?
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“Lumbering” Into the Past: Fantastic Chicago Ghost Signs Uncovered

“Lumbering” Into the Past: Fantastic Chicago Ghost Signs Uncovered

Last summer, Bob Behounek, a retired sign painter, discovered three ghost signs on wood-siding boards about eight inches in height. Advertisements on this material are rare, usually limited to fences and water tanks atop buildings. The signs were in remarkably fresh condition and exposed when a newer siding was removed as a step in the tear-down of a house built in the 1880s.
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Mid-Century Modern Blockheads

Mid-Century Modern Blockheads

By Heather M. David – Are you a blockhead? From the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, concrete block was mass-produced in the U.S. and very popular. It can be seen in many residences, office buildings, schools, churches, motels, and shopping centers from this period.
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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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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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