The Gas Station in America (Creating the North American Landscape)
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In the first volume of their celebrated "Gas, Food, Lodging" trilogy, John Jakle and Keith Sculle offer a comprehensive history of the American gas station, exploring every aspect of this roadside icon, including its evolving architectural identity; its place in both the American landscape and popular culture; the corporate decisions that determined its look and location; its metamorphosis into the mini-mart; and its role as the most visible manifestation of one of the world's largest industries. From the quaint curbside filling stations of the 1910s to the novelty designs of the 1920s (when stations were built to resemble English cottages, Greek temples, Dutch windmills, and Spanish missions) to the Bauhaus-inspired stations of the 1930s to today's nationwide chains of brightly lit look-alikes, The Gas Station in America is the definitive book on the subject. Richly illustrated with more than 150 images―postcards of gas stations, vintage ads, maps, and other memorabilia―this book bears witness to an economic and cultural phenomenon that continues to be a defining part of the American experience.
The most significant features of our landscape are often invisible to us. For example: how often have you wondered about the evolution of the gas station? How many gas stations are there in the U.S.? Are gas stations increasing or decreasing in number? What do Bauhaus and feminism have to do with gas station architecture?
Whether or not these questions have kept you awake at night (or been asked of you during job interviews), this delightful hybrid between architectural history, economics, pop-culture studies, and geography will give you unexpected insights into one of the more important components of the American landscape. Illustrated with more than 150 maps, photos, and drawings, and highly recommended.
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