Originally on display June 14 – September 1, 2014
All the roads in Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and France combined would not equal the length of America’s roadways. There are 4,092,729 miles of roads in the United States. No wonder the road trip, whether completed on the saddle of a motorcycle or in the confines of a car, is an essential American experience.
The reasons people seek the road trip experience are constantly evolving. Americans in the 1920s took to the roads seeking nature. In the 1950s and 1960s they pursued the Old West. Today, people from around the globe come to retrace the routes of yesteryear.
Their desires for convenience while undertaking their adventures led to innovations that reshaped culture. The road trip gave us motels, hamburgers and French fries, franchise chains, cement dinosaurs, station wagons, the short-lived, but immaculate gas station bathroom, and so much more.
So what are you waiting for? Unfold the map and get out the camera: The American Road is ahead.
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Brooks Stevens House Car: This recently-restored late 1930s house car sits on a modified truck chassis, and is powered by a 1930s Ford flathead engine. It has all of the comforts of home, including a dinette, bed, and a galley kitchen with sink and icebox cabinet. (On loan from a private collection)
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