There is perhaps no better visual record of Route 66's iconic sites than the thousands of illustrated and photographic postcards that have been produced over the years to promote the Mother Road's motels, hotels, tourist traps, trading posts, bustling burgs, greasy spoons, and natural wonders. This massive collection gathers together more than 400 of the finest examples of postcard art from Route 66's golden age: the 1930s through the mid-1960s, an era before long-distance car travel was largely supplanted by the airlines. Route 66 historian Joe Sonderman has curated the very best out of his 20,000-card archive to document a journey down the Mother Road through the decades, state-by-state from east to west. Visit landmark stops like the Rock Village Court, the Meramec Caverns, Mule Trading Post, and Wigwam Village in cities that include Chicago, Springfield, Amarillo, Tucumcari, Flagstaff, Barstow, Santa Monica, and many, many more. The fruit of Sonderman's labor is the definitive book collection of Route 66 postcards. Postcards from Route 66 is a valuable visual reference documenting the evolution of the famous highway and its equally famous roadside stops as well as a historical record of the time period, complete with many notes both hastily scribbled and thoughtfully composed by Route 66 travelers through the decades.
Joe Sonderman has authored eleven books on Route 66. He is the editor of the Route 66 Association of Missouri's Show Me Route 66 magazine and is the author of many articles for Route 66 magazine. He has also written books on the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and two others on the history of St. Louis.
Additionally, Sonderman assisted the Autry Museum with its recent exhibition on Route 66 and is currently working with the Missouri History Museum on a Route 66 exhibit. He has a collection of more than ten thousand vintage Route 66 images, as well as hundreds of original photos.
A St. Louis radio personality and traffic reporter for more than 25 years, Joe Sonderman maintains a website of Route 66 postcards (www.66postcards.com) and is the author of four books on the history of America's Mother Road. He now works at the Missouri Department of Transportation, watching the roads of today while treasuring those of yesteryear. www.facebook.com/joe.sonderman.5
"Here is a visual record, in postcard format, of the amenities on offer to travelers on this historic highway, which begins in Chicago and winds its way west through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, ending in California. In Missouri, it is noted that the Bridge Head Inn later became an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters owing to dioxin contamination in the area. Kansas had only 13.2 miles of Route 66, but the area is said to be haunted by "Spook Light." Oklahoma boasted an attraction with a supposedly tame buffalo that later killed its owner/trainer. In Texas, a restaurant offered free dinner to anyone who could consume a 72-ounce steak in one sitting. Arizona was home to the Geronimo Trading Post and the longest stretch (162 miles) of Route 66. Wigwam-style motels dotted the entire route, though few remain. Most postcard reproductions are in color, dating from the 1920s to 1960s, and include a brief history of the subject portrayed. Cities along the route are indexed for easy reference.Verdict The book is a curiosity, in the shape of a gigantic postcard, and is a hefty one-inch thick. Of interest to fans of America's historical highways." - Library Journal
"…is a must-have for anyone interested in this iconic stretch of asphalt and the history of long-distance automobile travel." - Ventura County, CA Star
"...is a must-have for anyone interested in this iconic stretch of asphalt and the history of long-distance automobile travel" - Los Angeles Daily News
"...must-have for anyone interested in this iconic stretch of asphalt and long-distance automobile travel." - Oakland, CA Tribune