As we weather the remnants of the Great Ice Storm of 2009 here in Kentucky and await the return of Alexander Graham Bell’s fabulous invention — the telephone — our mind began to wander to more pleasant thoughts: in our case, roadside Americana that we saw when young(er). Every summer, Dad took us on road trips to historical sites. We think we’ve seen every Civil War battlefield and every museum on the East Coast from Mystic Harbor, Connecticut on down to about the Florida state line.
Bored by battlefields, we began collecting roadside America postcards. An especially nice example which we recently acquired is this c. 1930s triple-view post card of the Pure Oil gas station and roadside motel on Route 11, five miles south of Harrisonburg, Virginia. This old postcard offers an interesting glimpse into motel rooms of the time. Spartan by today’s standards, they offered neither a radio nor a telephone. (Television wouldn’t make its motel room debut until the early 1950s.)
Pure Oil, founded in 1914 in Columbus, Ohio, began building its signature blue-roofed gas stations, based loosely upon English cottage architecture, in about 1926; more “contemporary” designs emerged in the late 1940s. Published by Marken & Bielfeld of Frederick, Maryland, this is a classic roadside America, Rockingham County or petroliana collectible in excellent condition.
See some frightful meteorology postcards and be grateful for the weather you’ve got, or visit our selection of Route 40 postcards at our website to see some more old roadside America postcards. Or, visit the world’s largest postcard bookstore.
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