Tourist Home Sign, 1930

Before motels were common, homeowners earned extra income by renting rooms by the night to motorists who were passing through town. Tourist homes offered a more comfortable alternative to autocamps and roadside cabins. They had a homelike atmosphere and domestic comforts that equaled travelers’ home furnishings. Some even served meals. In the evening, hosts and guests often engaged in conversation in the living room. The most successful tourist homes grew into roadside inns, but most stopped serving travelers when chain motels spread across the United States. This hand-painted wooden sign welcomed motorists at a tourist home in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, a rural community 25 miles from New York City.
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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