Americans on the road: from autocamp to motel, 1910-1945

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Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997 - Business & Economics - 212 pages
4 Reviews
In Americans on the Road, Warren James Belasco uses travel magazines, trade journals, and diaries to "look at what Americans actually did with their cars rather than try to judge what cars did to Americans." Belasco begins with the earliest days of automobile travel in America--when travelers camped wherever they stopped along the roadside, "gypsying" in their cars or in tents--and moves on to chart the growth in the 1920s of free municipal campsites. As the cost of building and maintaining these campsites steadily rose, towns began requiring patrons to pay a small fee. The steady stream of paying customers prompted entrepreneurs to build inexpensive restaurants and lodgings--and, Belasco concludes, "the motel industry was born."

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Review: Americans on the Road: From Autocamp to Motel, 1910-1945

User Review  - Kelli - Goodreads

Great for the overall background of the auto travel experience in the 1930s for Driving Dakota. Read full review

Review: Americans on the Road: From Autocamp to Motel, 1910-1945

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

As I have a deep fascination for the history of American society between the years of 1885 and 1930, I found the book interesting. Read full review


Cars versus Trains
Autocamping versus Hotels
From Fad to Institution

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About the author (1997)

Warren James Belasco is professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is also the author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry.