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The Motel in America (The Road and American Culture)

by John A. Jakle

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452459,278 (4.2)None
In the second volume of the acclaimed "Gas, Food, Lodging" trilogy, authors John Jakle, Keith Sculle, and Jefferson Rogers take an informative, entertaining, and comprehensive look at the history of the motel. From the introduction of roadside tent camps and motor cabins in the 1910s to the wonderfully kitschy motels of the 1950s that line older roads and today's comfortable but anonymous chains that lure drivers off the interstate, Americans and their cars have found places to stay on their travels. Motels were more than just places to sleep, however. They were the places where many Americans saw their first color television, used their first coffee maker, and walked on their first shag carpet. Illustrated with more than 230 photographs, postcards, maps, and drawings, The Motel in America details the development of the motel as a commercial enterprise, its imaginative architectural expressions, and its evolution within the place-product-packaging concept along America's highways. As an integral part of America's landscape and culture, the motel finally receives the in-depth attention it deserves.… (more)
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My family travelled a lot when I was a kid in the late 80's and early 90's. We would take epic (at least for a kid) road trips and stay in a lot of motels. My siblings and I would also need to occupy our time in the car, so we invented the motel game. We each chose a motel (mine was Days Inn) and we would get points every time we spotted either a sign for the motel or the motel itself. At the end of the trip we would see who got the most points. (We didn't keep any records so I can say that I won every time and you couldn't possibly prove me wrong!)

Nostalgia led me to pick up this book off the library shelves. My parents van could easily have been in some of those photographs. I wouldn't say that this book was fascinating, but it was interesting. I learned a lot that I had no idea about, and have a newfound appreciation for the motel. Unfortunately, the book is now over 20 years old and a lot has certainly changed in those days. It would be neat to get a more updated perspective. ( )
  lemontwist | Jan 11, 2018 |
Another must read. ( )
  photo2c | Jul 10, 2007 |
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In the second volume of the acclaimed "Gas, Food, Lodging" trilogy, authors John Jakle, Keith Sculle, and Jefferson Rogers take an informative, entertaining, and comprehensive look at the history of the motel. From the introduction of roadside tent camps and motor cabins in the 1910s to the wonderfully kitschy motels of the 1950s that line older roads and today's comfortable but anonymous chains that lure drivers off the interstate, Americans and their cars have found places to stay on their travels. Motels were more than just places to sleep, however. They were the places where many Americans saw their first color television, used their first coffee maker, and walked on their first shag carpet. Illustrated with more than 230 photographs, postcards, maps, and drawings, The Motel in America details the development of the motel as a commercial enterprise, its imaginative architectural expressions, and its evolution within the place-product-packaging concept along America's highways. As an integral part of America's landscape and culture, the motel finally receives the in-depth attention it deserves.

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