Ellen Warren & Margaret Engel – One-of-a-Kind: How John Margolies Preserved a Fading America

Recorded Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Photographer and cultural historian John Margolies called himself an “architectural undertaker,” traversing the country to make a pristine photographic record of our gas stations, motels, diners, movie houses, larger-than-life roadside art, signs, miniature golf courses and commercial buildings shaped like fish, shoes and flying saucers. Blessed with a fantastic memory and cataloguing prowess, the four decades of his roadside photos and artifacts (hotel room keys, vintage maps, restaurant matchbooks, felt tourist banners, postcards) were acquired by the Library of Congress for the public’s use.

Two of Margolie’s journalist friends, Ellen Warren and Margaret Engel, shared some of his important finds and oddities and described his painstaking methods of collecting what defines our culture.


Presented in partnership with:

Hagley Logo

Hagley Museum and Library, holders of the John Margolies Collection of Travel Ephemera.

Did you enjoy this sample show? Join the SCA and you’ll gain exclusive access to a full calendar of in-person and online events, all event recordings, subscriptions to the SCA Journal and Road Notes, full-text access to our website, free downloads and more! What are you waiting for?
Join Now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Post comment