Looking for a motel in 1933

One of the earliest motel referral services was United Motor Courts. This association was based in Santa Barbara, Calif. and was made up of “a friendly group of independent owners of motor lodges…” During the 1930s and 1940s, United Motor Courts produced some dazzling motel guides, most with pictures of each court. This 1933 guide has a simple cover illustrated with a speedy car. The U.M.C. shield logo sign could be found hanging out in front of the best motor courts.


The back of the guide uses persuasive language to encourage travelers to stop in. Interestingly, the guide notes the variety of accomodations that could be found. No cookie-cutter architecture here.


The interior of the guide has a splendid layout showing an array of motor courts. The A-1 Motor Court in Redding, Calif. has a stand out front that even sells milkshakes. Which one would you choose?


Explore posts in the same categories: Motel Associations

One Comment on “Looking for a motel in 1933”

  1. Jim Seelen Says:

    Wonderful old postcards. I’d love to see larger photos of these!

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