Archive for the ‘Motel Associations’ category

Looking for a motel in 1933

July 14, 2007

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?



Coast to coast host

July 14, 2007

Most everyone can remember the magnificent signs that signaled a Holiday Inn. These signs are extinct now. But postcards, brochures and matchbooks carried the symbol for decades. This postcard, from the early 1960s, is from the Holiday Inn in Clinton, Okla. The motel was located along U.S. 66 and offered all the amenities found in the rest of the chain, including free TV.


You are getting Sleepy…

May 16, 2007

Franchise motels, like Holiday Inn and TraveLodge, began to appear along Route 66 in the late 1950s. TraveLodge was started in California and crept eastward. Mrs. Ruth J. Brockmiller, Helen J. Hougland and Alice G. White were in charge of this early TraveLodge motel in Kingman, Ariz. Sleepy Bear was (is) the mascot of this chain which still operates today.


The inside of this brochure, from the late 1950s, shows a rather plain-looking establishment. with a simple sign. Holiday Inn had nothing to fear in terms of sign appeal.


A charming mid-century illustration caps this brochure. By the 1950s, the romance and adventure of families traveling 66 was fact. This cartoon celebrates that image.


Don’t forget the dog

April 13, 2007

Remember Gaines Burgers? They were a popular dog food at one time. Well, the makers of those hamburger-looking dog treats was the The Gaines Dog Research Center. They published this directory in 1954 to let travelers know what motor courts and motels allowed dogs as guests. The inside of the guide is pretty plain, listing accomodations by state. What is interesting to me is the list of what certain motels would accept. For example, some only allowed small dogs. Others, only guide dogs with their blind owners. Still others, accepted dogs only during annual dog shows. No matter the rules, you gotta love the cover of this guide.


Modern air-conditioned motels

March 10, 2007

Based in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., Tourinns Inc. offered lodging at six motels. Many of this chain’s units were located along America’s new interstates and turnpikes, especially in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Tourinns offered motorists reliable and familiar services, including an onsite restaurant, service station and TV lounge. This colorful brochure, probably from the late 1950s, has scenes of pure motel bliss. I love the big TV antenna on the office roof.Tourinns