THE INVENTION OF THE AMERICAN VACATION
THE AUTOMOBILE 1914-1932
HOME
HISTORY
ROUGHING IT
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
HOME AWAY FROM HOME

SPEEDING UP
WHO'S DRIVING?
THE RISE OF THE MOTEL

Home Away From Home

Before the Jersey Turnpike

An early hotel in Newport, N.J., 1915.

The year 1925 marks the beginning of mainstream motels in America. When the undesirables tarnished the name of the respectable tourist in the early 1920s, autocamps began to limit services to only paying customers. The attempt to establish a cleaner, safer, more respectable campground by way of exlusion did not work well. The original romanticism of camping underneath the stars, of returning to a simpler way of life, and of getting in touch with first principles had been sullied by new technologies, efficiencies, and freeloaders.










"We dwell a while in every city and town,

We pass through Kanada, the North-east, the vast valley of the Mississippi,and the Southern States,

We confer on equal terms with each of the States,

We make trial of ourselves and invite men and women to hear,

We say to ourselves, Remember, fear not, be candid, promulge the body and the soul,

Dwell a while and pass on, be copious, temperate, chaste, magnetic,

And what you effuse may then return as the seasons return,

And may be just as much as the seasons."

Walt Whitman, "On Journey Through the States"

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