John Margolies Roadside America Transparencies

Biographical / Historical Note

John Margolies (1940-2016) traveled throughout the United States for more than thirty-five years taking photographs of American commercial architecture and design. Some of the photographs were used in the publication of his many books on the signs, architecture,...

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John Margolies (1940-2016) traveled throughout the United States for more than thirty-five years taking photographs of American commercial architecture and design. Some of the photographs were used in the publication of his many books on the signs, architecture, resorts, travel and tourist attractions in America. A complete list of Margolies' publications can be found on an archived version of his website held by the Internet Archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20170929110416/https://www.johnmargolies.com/.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains approximately 1500 35mm color transparencies and is organized into two series. The General series, 1973-2004, includes images of theaters, gas stations, motels, restaurants, hotels, the Atlantic coast, and tourist attractions....

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The collection contains approximately 1500 35mm color transparencies and is organized into two series. The General series, 1973-2004, includes images of theaters, gas stations, motels, restaurants, hotels, the Atlantic coast, and tourist attractions. The Main Street series, 1975 2005, is comprised of civic buildings, banks, clubs, churches, barber shops and signs, and commercial buildings.

Researchers should note there is an item level inventory to the transparencies in Box 1. The inventory lists location and date the photograph was taken.

Selected items from the collection have been digitized and are available at: http://collections.thehenryford.org/Collection.aspx?keywords=%22John+Margolies+Roadside+America+transparencies%22

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Collection Details

Object ID: 2013.150.0
Creator: Margolies, John 
Inclusive Dates: 1973-2005
Size: 3 oversize boxes
Language: English

Collection Access & Use

Item Location: Not Currently On Exhibit

Access Restrictions: The transparencies are open for research.

Credit: From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Digitized Artifacts From This Collection

In many cases, not all artifacts have been digitized.
Contact us for more information about this collection.

1 Hr. Drive-In Cleaners Sign, Klamath Falls, Oregon, 1987

  Details

1 Hr. Drive-In Cleaners Sign, Klamath Falls, Oregon, 1987

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Slide (Photograph)

Summary

In the mid-1970s, John Margolies began to assemble a visual record of America's built roadside landscape. Over the following 3 decades he traveled thousands of miles to photograph the overlooked and often quickly vanishing structures that had grown out of American automobile culture and main street commerce. His photographs of hotels, motels, diners, service stations, drive-ins and attractions celebrate and capture a unique chapter of American history.

Object ID

2013.150.1479

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

1 Hr. Drive-In Cleaners Sign, Klamath Falls, Oregon, 1987

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

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  Details

Mickey's Diner, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1976

  Details

Mickey's Diner, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Slide (Photograph)

Summary

In the mid-1970s, John Margolies began to assemble a visual record of America's built roadside landscape. Over the following 3 decades he traveled thousands of miles to photograph the overlooked and often quickly vanishing structures that had grown out of American automobile culture and main street commerce. His photographs of hotels, motels, diners, service stations, drive-ins and attractions celebrate and capture a unique chapter of American history.

Object ID

2013.150.424

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Mickey's Diner, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Presto Whip Building, Dearborn, Michigan, 1976

  Details

Presto Whip Building, Dearborn, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Slide (Photograph)

Summary

These silos stored soybean oil and sugar. They stood in front of the Dearborn, Michigan, factory that made Presto Whip -- a soy-based non-dairy whipped topping. The company fashioned these eye-catching advertisements around plain, ordinary storage tanks. The silos became a recognizable landmark and local residents fondly remember these roadside signposts long after they were torn down.

Object ID

2013.150.1341

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Presto Whip Building, Dearborn, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Cunningham Drugs, Detroit, Michigan, 1976

  Details

Cunningham Drugs, Detroit, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Slide (Photograph)

Summary

In the mid-1970s, John Margolies began to assemble a visual record of America's built roadside landscape. Over the following 3 decades he traveled thousands of miles to photograph the overlooked and often quickly vanishing structures that had grown out of American automobile culture and main street commerce. His photographs of hotels, motels, diners, service stations, drive-ins and attractions celebrate and capture a unique chapter of American history.

Object ID

2013.150.1391

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Cunningham Drugs, Detroit, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Presto Whip Building, Dearborn, Michigan, 1976

  Details

Presto Whip Building, Dearborn, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Slide (Photograph)

Summary

These silos stored soybean oil and sugar. They stood in front of the Dearborn, Michigan, factory that made Presto Whip -- a soy-based non-dairy whipped topping. The company fashioned these eye-catching advertisements around plain, ordinary storage tanks. The silos became a recognizable landmark and local residents fondly remember these roadside signposts long after they were torn down.

Object ID

2013.150.1340

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Presto Whip Building, Dearborn, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Bradley's Mobil, Franklin, New York, 1976

  Details

Bradley's Mobil, Franklin, New York, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Slide (Photograph)

Summary

In the mid-1970s, John Margolies began to assemble a visual record of America's built roadside landscape. Over the following 3 decades he traveled thousands of miles to photograph the overlooked and often quickly vanishing structures that had grown out of American automobile culture and main street commerce. His photographs of hotels, motels, diners, service stations, drive-ins and attractions celebrate and capture a unique chapter of American history.

Object ID

2013.150.118

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Bradley's Mobil, Franklin, New York, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Presto Whip Building, Dearborn, Michigan, 1976

  Details

Presto Whip Building, Dearborn, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Slide (Photograph)

Summary

These silos stored soybean oil and sugar. They stood in front of the Dearborn, Michigan, factory that made Presto Whip -- a soy-based non-dairy whipped topping. The company fashioned these eye-catching advertisements around plain, ordinary storage tanks. The silos became a recognizable landmark and local residents fondly remember these roadside signposts long after they were torn down.

Object ID

2013.150.1339

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Presto Whip Building, Dearborn, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Dog House, Los Angeles, California, 1976

  Details

Dog House, Los Angeles, California, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Slide (Photograph)

Summary

In the mid-1970s, John Margolies began to assemble a visual record of America's built roadside landscape. Over the following 3 decades he traveled thousands of miles to photograph the overlooked and often quickly vanishing structures that had grown out of American automobile culture and main street commerce. His photographs of hotels, motels, diners, service stations, drive-ins and attractions celebrate and capture a unique chapter of American history.

Object ID

2013.150.440

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Dog House, Los Angeles, California, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

White Tower, Highland Park, Michigan, 1976

  Details

White Tower, Highland Park, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Slide (Photograph)

Summary

In the mid-1970s, John Margolies began to assemble a visual record of America's built roadside landscape. Over the following 3 decades he traveled thousands of miles to photograph the overlooked and often quickly vanishing structures that had grown out of American automobile culture and main street commerce. His photographs of hotels, motels, diners, service stations, drive-ins and attractions celebrate and capture a unique chapter of American history.

Object ID

2013.150.393

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

White Tower, Highland Park, Michigan, 1976

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details