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40 Years of America's Greatest Roadside Dinosaurs


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Photographer John Margolies spent nearly 40 years documenting what we now know as “roadside Americana”—the gas stations, motels, drive-ins, and diners that attracted road trippers with quirky signs and kooky architecture. In 2017, a year after Margolies died at the age of 76, the Library of Congress made its Margolies photographs available online—more than 11,000 color photos of food-shaped restaurants, catchy neon signs, and an intriguingly large number of dinosaurs.






From Atlas Obscura:

Documenting America’s Long, Venerable Tradition of Roadside Dinosaurs

Welcome to Jurassic parking lot.


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Great article. I love huge roadside sculptures. They're definitely one of the great oddities of America's interstate highways.


The Cabazon Dinosuars pictured with BTB above aren't in the article but are notable for being in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and the Wizard. Atlas Obscura did an article on the Cabazon Dinos sometime back: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/cabazon-dinosaurs


Fun-Fact: Those particular dinos were sold in the mid-90s to a fundamentalist group of young earth creationists. Now a really bizarre creationist museum is on the site. My wife and I actually went on our way to Palm Springs and were treated to scenes of knights on horseback facing off against dinos. It would be hilarious if it wasn't presented as a valid scientific theory. That said, the two largest dinos are available to see for photo ops without paying admission and will always remain a fun stop over for travelers on the I-10.

Edited by atarilbc
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