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

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Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979 - Sports & Recreation - 212 pages
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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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Cars versus Trains
Autocamping versus Hotels
From Fad to Institution

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