John Margolies
BOOKS
This is a complete bibliography of books by John Margolies. Clicking an image or book title will take you to the book's page at the online bookstore Amazon.com. Out of print books can be purchased through Amazon from independent booksellers that are conveniently linked to each book's page. Two other sites that sell out of print books are bookfinder.com, abebooks.com and used.addall.com

See the USA
John Margolies and Eric Baker
Paperback - 132 pages
(January 2000)
Chronicle Books
ISBN 0811822729

.......

See the USA Travel Journal
(2000) Chronical Books
ISBN 0811826597

See the USA Address Book
(2000) Chronicle Books
ISBN 0811826589

The early part of the 20th century saw a boom in American vacationing. Passenger trains were swift and affordable, air travel was coming into view, and the Model T was swiftly selling to millions of average Joes and Janes. Hungry to know the still youthful nation, travelers set out to explore its massive metropolises and humble hamlets alike. Eager tourism bureaus invited them in with colorful travel brochures extolling the merits of their particular provinces in cheerfully hyperbolic language.

Whether promising to deliver urbanites "away from it all" or luring country folk to marvel at skyscrapers, these travel brochures guaranteed that each location was unique, harbored the best or the most of something, and was populated by the friendliest people you ever did meet. Packed with more than 200 color illustrations, See the USA celebrates these treasures of early modern commercial art and offers an entertaining trip back to the heyday of American road-tripping.

Fun Along the Road
John Margolies
Hardcover - 128 pages
(1998) Bulfinch Press
Little Brown & Company
ISBN 0821223518

An entertaining ride along our highways in pursuit of that quintessential roadside experience: the tourist attraction. Within these pages you will encounter an amazing array of ingenious and seductive lures designed to tempt road-weary travelers to pull over and spend some time--and money. From scenic vistas to alligator farms, petting zoos, Santa's villages, ghost towns, miniature cities, and storylands--even the eccentric fantasy rock gardens and religious grottoes of local artists--Margolies savors and celebrates the wondrous variety of roadside attractions past and present throughout North America.

Fun Along the Road contains Margolies's signature blend of the cultural history and popular architecture of the twentieth-century roadside, illustrated by his own color photographs and carefully preserved postcards, souvenirs, travel brochures, and other ephemera. So go for a spin and discover the delights of Parrot Jungle, Perry's Nut House, The Nettie and Alice Museum of Hobbies, astounding tilted-floor "mystery spots," and much more. Stop, browse, and enjoy this rare chance to experience an unparalleled sampling of the Fun Along the Road.

Hitting the Road
Douglas A. Yorke, Jr., John Margolies and Eric Baker
Paperback - 132 pages
(1996) Chronicle Books
ISBN 0811810151

Unceremoniously discarded by the millions, languishing deep in the corners of overstuffed glove compartments, and wedged behind the seat cushions of old Buicks lie forgotten examples of one of the great commercial artifacts of twentieth-century America: the oil-company road map. For generations of intrepid motorists, free maps available at gas stations across America charted the dreams and thrills of adventure on the open road. Hitting the Road traces our country's love affair with the automobile through the colorful graphics and alluring images that graced these charming remnants of a bygone era.

Hitting the Road, with an informative text by Douglas A. Yorke, Jr., and John Margolies, is a fascinatiing discussion of popular culture revealed by these documents, and offers a striking collection of illustrations of over 200 road maps, together with a fascinating discussion of the popular culture they reveal. From the early touring maps of 1912, featuring covers ablaze with a sense of motoring adventure, to the Art Deco-inspired graphics of the thirties and the family-oriented images of the fifties and sixties, the examples in Hitting the Road are themselves maps of the recreational twists and turns of the public they sought to guide.

Compelling, informative, and filled with lavish illustrations, Hitting the Road offers a nostalgic, picturesque portrait of the quintessential American family on the move and at play, with their troubles behind them and boundless possibilities ahead, out on the open road.

Home Away from Home
John Margolies
Hardcover - 128 pages
(1995) Bulfinch Press
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 0821221620

John Margolies takes to the road again, this time in search of that boon to the weary traveler: the motel. The result is a celebration of an icon of the American roadscape--a grand tour of motel history and lore from the nation's premier chronicler of commercial architecture.

In lively text and more than 250 photographs, most in color, Margolies brings to life the new style of lodging that sprang up to serve the automobile traveler, from auto camps and mom-and-pop tourist cabins early in the century to today's familiar motel chains. Along the way, he highlights many of the services and amenities--the decor, the swimming pools, the restaurants, and the pulsating signs--used to lure motorists into the nearest Kozy Kottage. He has discovered motels both marvelous and bizarre: log cabins, teepees, and even railroad freight cars transformed into sleeping cars. And he explores how the image of the motel in America has evolved--from seedy shacks to picturesque courts to today's antiseptic but very comfortable way stations. Throughout, Margolies combines his signature photographs of hostelries past and present with rare postcards, vintage brochures, and other artifacts. Home Away From Home is a surprising and entertaining look at an omnipresent phenomenon, a nostalgic tour of sleepless nights and sweet dreams along the highways and byways of America.

Highway Hangouts
John Margolies
30 postcards
(1997) Abbeville Press
ISBN 1558597492

A mind-boggling fantasy of stunning structures and stupendous signs, this joyous postcard celebration of extraordinary commercial icons presents a roadside garden of earthly delights.

One of the greatest adventures of an automotive voyage into the unknown is trying to decide where and what to eat. Before the era of the golden arches and the Colonel, tourists had to rely on the outward appearance of establishments when choosing where to stop for a snack, a meal, or even a night on the town.

The entrepreneurs of roadside establishments employed every trick in the book to attract hungry and thirsty travelers. Sometimes the buildings or signs themselves looked almost good enough to eat. Others used a cornucopia of words and images to project an aura of excitement and romance that would arouse famished curiosity or parched desperation.

"Highway Hangouts" is a joyous postcard collection of the days when mom-and-pop establishments were the backbone of the American free-enterprise system, and when quirky little buildings and signs were roadside sirens for customers behind the wheel exploring the far corners of the United States.

-- John Margolies

Pump and Circumstance
John Margolies
Hardcover - 128 pages
(1993) Bulfinch Press
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 0821219952

Paperback - 128 pages
(1996)
ISBN 0821222848

Pump and Circumstance is a rich and lively celebration of that icon of American roadside culture: the gas station. John Margolies traces the entertaining and significant tradition of gas station design, history, and lore -- from horse-drawn pumps at the turn of the century to the convenience stores and self-serve pumpers of today. Particular attention is given to "the golden age" from 1920 to 1940,when humble curbside stations evolved into palaces of petroleum. Back then, the whole experience became much more than just filling the tank: attendants in spiffy uniforms bustled about among gleaming pumps, eye-catching signs, and strings of pennants flapping in the wind.

Those days are gone now, but John Margolies brings this era back to life by combining rare archival photographs, postcards, advertisements, and other service station artifacts and collectibles, with his own trademark color photographs. He delves into such diverse and unusual topics as: the hoopla of the sparkling and sometimes no-so-sparkling rest room; the evolution of road maps; and the development of gas pumps from jerrybuilt hot water tanks to the sleek, computerized vending machines of today. Pump and Circumstance is the definitive book of its kind -- a nostalgic and lighthearted remembrance of the gas stations of our youth.

Pump and Circumstance
John Margolies
30 Postcards
(1995) Bulfinch Press
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 0821221922

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the gas station was a significant icon along the highways and byways of America. Hundreds of oil companies vied for the attention and patronage of automotive consumers. Unforgettable graphic symbols like Mobil's flying red horse and Sinclair's brontosaurus were placed at the roadside to lure customers to ornate gas pumps bedecked with glass globes. Smiling and elaborately uniformed gas station attendants came running to the car to give "full service." The gas stations themselves, especially in the heyday of the 1920s and 1930s, were sometimes architectural masterpieces in miniature, from fanciful creations such as airplanes, tepees, and even Japanese teahouses, to more subdued cottages and streamlined models. The prevailing rule was "Anything Goes."

Now, nearly all of the grand old gas stations have disappeared, and with them some of the thrill and joy of the road. These postcard images of stations, pumps, and signs from "the good old days" are a compelling reminder of life in the slow lanes of America. They recreate a time of lost innocence, pride, and individuality in our free enterprise system.

-- John Margolies

Signs of Our Time
John Margolies and E. Gwathmey
Hardcover - 96 pages
(1993) Abbeville Press
ISBN 1558592091

Signs of our Time is a stunning visual feast of the commercial signs built to attract automotive and pedestrian consumers across America from the 1920s through the 1960s. This compelling commercial folk art, composed in neon, inner-lit plastic, wood, and other materials, is documented by hundreds of brilliant color photographs by John Margolies of signs organized into such topics as transportation, main street, food and drink, roadside attractions, and motels. Margolies's photographs are augmented by selected examples of vintage paper artifacts relating to the photographs along with an informative introductory essay by Emily Margolin Gwathmey.

Signs of the Times Refrigerator Magnets
John Margolies
Blue Q

Five refrigerator magnet reproductions of photographs by John Margolies of colorful and distinctive roadside business signs.

Ticket to Paradise
John Margolies and E. Gwathmey
Hardcover - 144 pages
(1991) Bulfinch Press
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 0821218298

Ticket to Paradise is a celebration of the glory days of the American movie theater, from big-city movie palaces to tiny gems on Main Street. It is a journey back in time to the theaters of our youth and the days when the buildings were as exotic and exciting as the movies on the screen.

For over thirty years, John Margolies has been documenting theaters and drive-ins nationwide. Central to this book are his superb color photographs, many of theaters long gone. Emily Gwathmey's introduction provides a lively overview of theater evolution. Then the story unfolds in the chapters about "the good old days" at the turn of the century: the magnificent downtown cinematic cathedrals like the Roxy in New York, the people behind the scenes, the homespun small-town theaters, the experience of the Saturday matinee, and the vanishing drive-ins. An elegy to theaters past and present closes the book. In the back matter is found a geographical listing to help readers seek out their own theater roots.

Throughout, the photographs and text are enriched by rare postcards, archival images, and memorabilia gleaned from private collections. Also included are memories shared by movie patrons whose lives were transformed by hours spent in these magic environments. Ticket to Paradise is an unparalleled visual feast and a nostalgic homage to the all-American ritual of going to the movies.

Palaces of Dreams

Palaces of Dreams
John Margolies
30 Postcards
(1993) Bulfinch Press
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 0821220179

Movie Theaters are the great production numbers along the Main Streets of America. Mostly designed from the 1920s to the early 1950s, these pleasure domes were our monuments to enjoyment and relaxation.

In the past twenty years, I have driven more than 100,000 miles as I have crisscrossed the United States searching for idiosyncratic and sometimes glamorous examples of our commercial architectural heritage. Many of the old movie houses were still there clinging to life when I began my search in the early 1970s.

These theaters were very easy to spot in the old downtowns. While government buildings and banks stood out by projecting trust and dignity, and other shops used signs and others decorative elements to entice us to buy the necessities of life, the theater's function and products were less essential. The designers of these dream palaces drew upon a full range of decorative fantasy to attract their clientele, and snazzy neoned confections sprang up in almost every town. The decorative theater fronts were a joyous symbol of the universal rituals that took place within.

The time of the downtown movie theater has come and gone, replaced by the era of cinder black multi-plexes in shopping centers, cable TV, and VCRs. Many of the old buildings stand forlorn or reused, and most of the rest have been destroyed. Precious few are still there going strong, while other cherished survivors have been saved or restored to keep alive the traditions of the Saturday matinee, courting and dating, and wholesome family outings in front of flickering images of what was and what might be.

-- John Margolies

These thirty postcards represent some of the most delightful and nostalgic examples of American movie theaters. Many closed long ago, while others survive and even thrive. These photographs by John Margolies allow us to recall their glory days and to savor the memory of Saturday matinees and weekend dates along Main Street.

Miniature Golf
John Margolies, Nina Garfinkel, and Maria Reidelbach
Hardcover - 96 pages
(1987) Abbeville Press
ISBN 0896596842

Miniature golf burst upon the American scene at the onset of the Great Depresson and quickly became a national pastime to rival even baseball. Courses sprouted quickly on hotel rooftops in New York, on vacant lots in Chicago, and even in exclusive Hollywood enclaves. But within a few summers this popular sport receded from view, only to be resurrected with original impact some two decades later in America's burgeoning postwar suburbs. Minigolf now enjoys the dedicated loyalty of new generatons who putt away hours on imaginatively landscaped multimillion-dollar courses all over the country.

The little-known history of this archetypal American sport is charmingly revealed in Miniature Golf, and it is fully illustrated with vintage photographs, cartoons, drawings, and documents begining with the late 1920s. There is, as well, a splendid contemporary color survey by John Margolies that presents delightful highlights from the more than 100 courses throughout the USA. The windmills, storybook characters, wacky gizmos, waterfalls, monsters, and architectural follies that typify the whimsical and bizarre sensibility of miniature golf's devotees are seen here in abundance. Virtually all the historical material, lovingly tracked down by art historians Maria Reidelbach and Nina Garfinkel, is brought together in book form for the first time -- which makes this, certainly, the definitive volume on the subject.

Lost America Postcards
John Margolies
12 Postcards
(1982) The Dial Press
ISBN 0385278004

Tear-out postcards of a selection of the brightly colored and individualistic businesses which were once found along the Main Streets of America, including: a jewelry store, a bed shop, a bowling alley, a drug store, a department store, a car wash, a shoe repair shop, a cleaner and laundry store, barber and beauty shops, and movie theaters.
The End of the Road

The End of the Road
John Margolies
Hardcover - 96 pages
(1981) The Hudson River Museum and Penguin Books
ISBN 0670294829

Paperback - 96 pages
(1981) Penguin Books
ISBN 014005840 0

Nowhere in our landscape are there finer examples of America's native folk spirit than in the architecture that lined our highways. Motels, eating and drinking establishments, gas stations, and roadside attractions of great variety argue for the appreciation of the ordinary, the eccentric, and the whimsical, in addition to giving vivid evidence of the highly inventive nature of our commercial design.

The photographs in this book chronicle buildings that survived seven decades of American road life. Located throughout the USA, these structures attest to a time when our cities and towns were marked by character, pride, personality, and humor; and to a time when the individual proprietor's vision of what the traveler was seeking had not yet been superseded by the homogeneity brought about by large corporations and the interstate highway system.

The End of the Road celebrates the rich and splendid diversity of our vanishing vernacular. It is a book for anyone with an interest in America - past, present, and future.

Resorts of the Catskills
John Margolies, et. al.
(1979) Architectural League of New York and The Gallery Association of New York State
St. Martin's Press
ISBN 0312677529

Paperback - 114 pages
(1979) St. Martin's Press
ISBN 0312677529

In this collaborative project conceived by, and with color photographs by John Margolies (and with essays by Betsy Blackmar, Elizabeth Cromley, Alf Evers, and Neil Harris), the architectural and social history of one of America's oldest and loveliest resort areas comes to life in this beautiful volume.

Over one hundred photographs and illustrations document the various types of resort buildings -- inns, farmhouses, bungalow colonies, medium-sized hotel blocks, and palaces - which evolved over the years to serve the changing patterns of American vacation life. Many of the hotels also became cultural and ethnic enclaves - Irish, Italian, Jewish, and others -- virtual subcultures in rural America. This fascinating book documents a resort tradition in the Catskill Mountains of New York State that has nearly disappeared entirely.