SOCIETY for

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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

Photo: Vintage Wisconsin Dells

On the Road Since 1977

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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Enjoy a handcrafted one-day roadside adventure. Curated by members of the SCA.
NEW: CHICAGO’S NORTH SIDE

TAKE A RIDE

On the Road Since 1977

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

Green_Mill_Electric_Sign_Chicago
SCA Day Trippers Logo

Enjoy a handcrafted one-day roadside adventure. Curated by members of the SCA.
NEW: CHICAGO’S NORTH SIDE

TAKE A RIDE

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Upcoming Events

<span style="color: red">AN SCA ZOOM EVENT: </span>Mark Lamster: Back to the Future

AN SCA ZOOM EVENT: Mark Lamster: Back to the Future

Tuesday, September 13 at 7:30pm EDT/6:30pm CDT: Join Preservation Houston and author, architecture critic and professor Mark Lamster for an online program exploring the story of the House of the Century and how this unique building might be saved. A Q&A with Lamster will follow the presentation.
Read All About It
<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, June 7-11, 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.
Read All About It

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Event Recordings

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News

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SCA WEEKLY NEWS REVIEW: August 7, 2022

Back to basics: Motels, neon and diners
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SCA WEEKLY NEWS REVIEW: July 31, 2022

SCA WEEKLY NEWS REVIEW: July 31, 2022

Reuse, recycle and all that good stuff
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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

Lucy the Elephant

Found Photos of the American Roadside

FULL ARTICLE by Edward Engel: I started collecting other people’s family photographs in 2013. It’s a strange avocation. Picking through piles of paper at flea markets, antique stores, and estate sales in search of once-treasured memories that are not my own.
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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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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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Route 66: Another Perspective on “Mother” Road

Route 66: Another Perspective on “Mother” Road

A new public history project, The Women on the Mother Road: Route 66, sheds light on women’s experiences along the historic highway.
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Miss Alma Makes a Bee Line: A Story of One Woman and Two Auto Trails

Miss Alma Makes a Bee Line: A Story of One Woman and Two Auto Trails

By John and Kris Murphey – As the first female transcontinental highway booster, Alma Rittenberry had promoted her Jackson Highway not only as a memorial to the former President nicknamed “Old Hickory,” but as a progressive path to get farmers out of the mud and a source of “financial and cultural gain” for the North and South.
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YESCO Says “Yes” to Relighting Idaho’s Panida Theater

YESCO Says “Yes” to Relighting Idaho’s Panida Theater

By Doug Jones: After a period of more than 18 months, the Panida Theater comes out of the darkness, looking forward to a brighter future and its continuing promise of quality performance in north Idaho.
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Dr. Patrick’s
Postcard Roadside

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

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Standard and donation-level memberships available