Sunday, 24 April 2011

Warren Photos 4

And just to finish off, here are the last two photographs from the collection of negatives from the Warren family in Pennsylvania. If you like old cars or roadside souvenirs, this will interest you.

Now this is an impressive automobile. I wonder if it came with the stars on the bonnet
 and doors as standard or whether they were added afterwards?

Now, judging by display of goods for sale. Flamingos were popular in Pennsylvania.
Are flamingos common in North America and are these types of roadside wares still common?


  1. They've got flamingos in Florida, or at least used to. And you find them at the zoo, specifically as soon as you walk into the San Diego zoo.

    But plastic lawn ornament flamingos are still around. I always wanted one. Then the company that made them either went out of business or something, but someone else started making them again. My neighbor has one in her frontyard.

    And back in the 1950s and '60s it seemed every town had either a Flamingo hotel or motel.

    Flamingos loom very large in our kitsch legends.

  2. As to roadside attractions, there aren't as many anymore because of the freeway systems. But it used to be wondrous traveling across country. The Burma Shave signs that would go on for a mile or so giving you little lines of a "poem" on each sign. The trading posts with the wooden Indian standing at the front door. The signs promising you food and water miles before you got there. Places with rattlesnake pits/alligators/bears to see. So called "museums" that would feature oddities like a dead stuffed two headed calf or two headed snake. It was amazing traveling back then. Then at night all the wonderful neon motel signs were beautiful. I miss those days a lot.

  3. Thanks TaL. Flamingos? Lots of ornaments are on sale in garden centres here in England, but hardly anyone puts them in their garden. The questions are: "Who buys them and where do they keep them? In the privacy of their own home? Hmmm!

    I enjoyed your account of roadside attractions Fascinating. I remember reading Bill Bryson's account of travelling around America with his parents as a child and the sights, museums, garages - very interesting. I love looking at photographs of the reasonably recent past - 40s to 60s. There is a really good series of Phaidon Book on American Advertising in each of those decades - wonderful. And if you go on Google Books, you can read back numbers of Popular Science which is always amazing - Rocket ships of the future. And, if that were not enough, we have your wonderful blogs to enjoy. Thank you! Laurie

  4. The car? circa 1910--stars came with it. (All guesses!)

    Flamingos are common yard ornaments in Florida. Other carved wood decorations are a feature of seashore yards.

  5. For the last 20 years flamingos have had a major kitsch comeback as T & L said above. In Seattle about ten years ago you could rent a hundred of them to "surprise" someone on their birthday or somesuch. (I guess no one would want that many flams permanently in their yard) Archie McPhee (store) still creates and sells goo-gobs of them. Re: roadside attractions They are still out there, just harder to find. When I remember the ones I saw as a kid I am sure the reason they are no longer around is our sensibilities have changed. Many of them would be considered illegal, unsafe, hazardous or slapped with an animal cruelty charge.