Driving it

printCatering to the Car

Gassing Up, On the Go
Service Takes a Front Seat

[see large picture]

"Signs direct motorists to service areas which are set back from Turnpike travel lanes," notes the caption for this photograph from the Turnpike Authority's 1951 annual report. Travelers who stopped to eat or gas up experienced one way the automobile had changed daily life. Instead of the individually owned mom-and-pop restaurants and gas stations they would have found in many New Jersey towns, they encountered standardized environments controlled by large corporations that catered to the car.

Photograph, "Service Area," from the New Jersey Turnpike Authority annual report, 1951
Collections of The New Jersey Historical Society, gift of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority