The Living on Earth Almanac
Air Date: Week of December 8, 2000
This week, facts about motels. It was 75 years ago this week that the world’s first motel was built in California to provide a pleasant place for automobile travelers to spend the night.
CURWOOD: Early in the automobile age, weary travelers might pitch a tent or crawl into the back seat with a blanket if nightfall found them far from home. Seventy-five years ago that all changed when enterprising architect Arthur Heineman built the world's first motel. Blending the words "motor" and "hotel," Mr. Heineman coined the term to describe his haven in San Luis Obispo, California. Just two dollars a night at The Milestone Mo-Tel bought a traveler a night in a private room with a bath, telephone, central heating, and, of course, a parking spot for the trusty automobile. Motels began springing up all along the American roadside, joining gas stations and diners to serve the new tin can tourists. The motel industry peaked in the early 60's before big chains came to dominate the landscape. Eventually, the new interstate system concentrated travel systems at highway exits, relegating neon-lighted Mom & Pop culture icons like the Ho Hum, the Sandman, and even the infamous Bates Motel to Americana.
(Music up and under)
CURWOOD: Your room is ready. Enjoy the shower. And for this week that's the Living on Earth Almanac.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Newsletter [Click here]
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth