The Motel in America

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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 ...

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Don Abood
Enjoyable for its own sake, the book is also valuable as a reference for collectors of roadside memorabilia . . . An entertaining, well-illustrated history of the motel. br>— Mobilia
Entertainment Weekly
Lolita was debauched in one; Kentucky Fried Chicken was born in another. Lots of interesting things happen behind the impervious, often cheesy facade of roadside motels . . . A masterful scrapbook for fellow devotees.
Jeffrey L. Meikle
While The Motel in America is informed by sensitive nostalgia and well illustrated with postcards and other ephemera appealing to roadside buffs, it is a serious work whose methodologically varied chapters comprise an interdisciplinary whole encompassing architecture, geography, economics, marketing, and social history . . . An excellent, always engaging work that will remain the last word on many aspects of its subject.
Techology and Culture
Preservation
A team of academic historians and geographers turn a childhood love of the motor hotel into a well-documented and richly illustrated study . . . Tracing the motel's origins to the auto camps of the early 1900s, simple roadside areas where 'tin can tourists' (named as much for their refuse as their cars) could pitch tents, they trace its evolution into such later forms as the motor court.
Preservation
Historians and geographers turn a childhood love of the motor hotel into a well-documented and richly illustrated study.
Technology and Culture
An excellent,always engaging work that will remain the last word on many aspects of its subject.
Wayne Curtis
The Motel in America . . . is to roadside accommodations what Gibbon's history is to Rome.
Atlantic Monthly
Wayne Curtis
The Motel in America . . . is to roadside accommodations what Gibbon's history is to Rome.
Atlantic Monthly
Winnie Carlson
A motel tell-all on how these inns gradually popped up along our roadsides out of grass-roots entrepreneurship and built themselves a place in the American consciousness . . . Provocative.
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Winnie Carlson
A motel tell-all on how these inns gradually popped up along our roadsides out of grass-roots entrepreneurship and built themselves a place in the American consciousness . . . Provocative.
Memphis Commercial Appeal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801869181
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: Road and American Culture Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John A. Jakle is a professor of geography and landscape architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Keith A. Sculle is an adjunct professor of history at the University of Illinois at Springfield and head of research and education at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Jefferson S. Rogers is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 The Motel as Architecture 23
3 Mom-and-Pop Enterprise 57
4 Remember the Alamo Plazas 90
5 The Rise of Place-Product-Packaging 120
6 Motel Franchising - Part 1 150
7 Motel Franchising - Part 2 195
8 The Changing Motel Room 231
9 The Nation's Innkeeper 261
10 The Motel in Albuquerque 286
11 Conclusion 324
Notes 341
Select Bibliography 365
Index 379
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