Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Keith A. Sculle  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1941

-- Keith A. Sculle on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Sculle lives and works in the Springfield Illinois area.

Biographical and Professional Information

Sculle is the former head of research and education at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Published Works

  • The Gas Station in America, John Hopkins University Press, 1994 (Co-Authored with John A. Jakle)
  • The Motel in America, John Hopkins University Press, 1996 (Co-Authored with John A. Jakle)
  • Fast Food, Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age, John Hopkins University Press, 1998 (Co-Authored with John A. Jakle)
  • Signs in America's Auto Age: Signatures of Landscapes and Places, University of Iowa Press, 2004 (Co-Authored with John A. Jakle)
  • Motoring: The Highway Experience in America, University of Georgia Press, 2008 (Co-Authored with John A. Jakle)
  • Roadside America: Preserving the Recent Past in Landscape and Place, Univ Tennessee Press, 2013 (Co-Authored with John A. Jakle)

Selected Titles At Your Library

The gas station in America /
ISBN: 0801847230. OCLC Number:

Johns Hopkins University Press,. Baltimore :. ©1994.

"Why were early gas stations built to resemble English cottages and Greek temples? How does Teddy Roosevelt's busting of the Standard Oil Trust in 1911 relate to the lack of Exxon and Chevron stations in the Midwest today? What corporate decisions and economic pressures lay behind the Bauhaus-inspired stations of the 1930s? Is there a link between feminism and the rise of the Gas'n'Go-style convenience store? What have gas stations symbolized in the American experience?" "Geographer John Jakle and historian Keith Sculle have teamed up to write a unique and comprehensive history of the American gas station - its architecture, its place in the landscape and in popular culture, and its economic role as the most visible manifestation of one of the country's largest industries. Here is the definitive book on the subject, from the first curbside filling stations - with their juryrigged water tanks and garden hoses - to the nationwide chains of look-alike stations whose design pioneered the "place-product-packaging" concept copied by motels and fast-food restaurants." "Jakle and Sculle begin with a look at how the gas station evolved in response to America's growing mobility. They describe the oil company marketing strategies that led to the familiar brand names, logos, uniforms, and station designs that came to dominate the nation's highways. They explain why certain companies and their stations thrived in certain regions while others failed. And they document the reasons for the gas station's abrupt decline in recent decades." "Illustrated with more than 150 photos and drawings - of gas stations, vintage advertisements, maps, and memorabilia - the book offers a wealth of information and colorful details."

The motel in America /
ISBN: 0801853834. OCLC Number:

Johns Hopkins University Press,. Baltimore :. 1996.

"In The Motel in America, John Jakle, Keith Sculle, and Jefferson Rogers take an informative and entertaining look at the history, architecture, and business of motels in the United States. Like Jakle and Sculle's acclaimed The Gas Station in America, this book explores the effect on American culture as citizens became motorists. The new breed of automobile traveler rejected the hotels of the railroad era, which were located in congested downtown areas and lacked adequate parking. Instead, they came to favor the roadside lodgings outside city limits which came to be known as motels, a term first used in Arthur Heineman's Milestone Mo-tel, opened in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1926." "The popularity of motels grew steadily throughout the century, booming after the Second World War and reaching a peak in 1961, when there were some 61,000 motels operating throughout the country, the vast majority of them independently owned. These motels were an integral part of the American landscape, shaping their guests' ideas about modern living, introducing Americans to the consumer novelties of the age: color televisions, automatic coffee makers, shag rugs, even residential swimming pools. By the 1980s, most of the country's 40,000 motel establishments were affiliated with referral and franchise chains, reflecting the traveler's need for uniform quality and the entrepreneur's desire for regional or national recognition." "The history of the motel, from autocamp to franchise, has long been overlooked. Although motels have come to be taken for granted, they illustrate much that is central to the American experience. In The Motel in America, motels at last receive the careful interpretation they deserve."--Jacket.

Fast food :
ISBN: 0801861098. OCLC Number:

Johns Hopkins University Press,. Baltimore, Md :. 1999.

"In Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age, John Jakle and Keith Sculle contemplate the origins, architecture, and commercial growth of wayside eateries in the United States over the past 100 years. This new volume examines the impact of the automobile on the restaurant business and offers a thorough account of roadside dining. Jakle and Sculle begin with America in the 1850s, when restaurants came into their own, and trace the evolution from coffee shops, main street cafes, and diners to drive-ins and drive-throughs. Focusing on the people who created and ran these enterprises, the authors recount the rise of early franchises such as White Castle and White Tower and the later dominance of large corporate chains such as Burger King, Hardee's, and - the giant of them all - McDonald's."--Jacket.

Signs in America's auto age :
ISBN: 0877458901. OCLC Number:

University of Iowa Press,. Iowa City :. ©2004.

Signs orient, inform, persuade, and regulate. They help give meaning to our natural and human-built environment, to landscape and place. In Signs in America's Auto Age, cultural geographer John Jakle and historian Keith Sculle explore the ways in which we take meaning from outdoor signs and assign meaning to our surroundings-the ways we "read" landscape. With an emphasis on how the use of signs changed as the nation's geography reorganized around the coming of the automobile, Jakle and Sculle consider the vast array of signs that have evolved since the beginning of the twentieth century.

Motoring :
ISBN: 0820330280. OCLC Number:

. .

Motoring unmasks the forces that shape the American driving experience--commercial, aesthetic, cultural, mechanical--as it takes a timely look back at our historically unconditional love of motor travel. Focusing on recreational travel between 1900 and 1960, John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle cover dozens of topics related to drivers, cars, and highways and explain how they all converge to uphold that illusory notion of release and rejuvenation we call the "open road." Jakle and Sculle have collaborated on five previous books on the history, culture, and landscape of the American road. Here, with an emphasis on the driver's perspective, they discuss garages and gas stations, roadside tourist attractions, freeways and toll roads, truck stops, bus travel, the rise of the convenience store, and much more. All the while, the authors make us think about aspects of driving that are often taken for granted: how, for instance, the many lodging and food options along our highways reinforce the connection between driving and "freedom" and how, by enabling greater speeds, highway engineers helped to stoke motorists' "blessed fantasy of flight." Although driving originally celebrated freedom and touted a common experience, it has increasingly become a highly regulated, isolated activity. The motive behind America's first embrace of the automobile--individual prerogative--still substantially obscures this reality. "Americans did not have the automobile imposed on them," say the authors. Jakle and Sculle ask why some of the early prophetic warnings about our car culture went unheeded and why the arguments of its promoters resonated so persuasively. Today, the automobile is implicated in any number of environmental, even social, problems. As the wisdom of our dependence on automobile travel has come into serious question, reassessment of how we first became that way is more important than ever.

The garage :
ISBN: 1572339586. OCLC Number:

. .

Beginning with the days when only the wealthy could afford cars (and their chauffeurs doubled as mechanics), the authors show how blacksmiths and carriage repairmen quickly adapted to the increasing ubiquity of the automobile. Noting differences from region to region as well as between large cities and smaller population centers, they look at the growth of car dealerships, with their separation of service and sales floors, and the parallel rise of small, independent repair shops; businesses that have steadily disappeared from the national scene, though some of the buildings that once housed them have survived, refitted for other purposes. The domestic garage; first conceived as a detached structure, then integrated with the house itself; also gets its own chapter. And throughout, the authors explore the various ways in which concerns with practicality, commerce, and aesthetics have dictated how garages were laid out and constructed and what services they offered.

Speaking Engagements

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