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All-American Truck Stops: An Illustrated History    by Guy Kudlemyer & Wayne Henderson order for
All-American Truck Stops
by Guy Kudlemyer
Order:  USA  Can
Iconografix, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

If you spend much time driving the nation's highways you have probably stopped at a truck stop from time to time. A staple of the fuel and rest stops for the trucking industry for decades, these large facilities not only have parking areas where truckers can get a little shut-eye but they also feature restaurants, showers, truck repairs and retail stores that offer a variety of items.

All-American Truck Stops offers an illustrated history of truck stops. It begins when two lane roads were the norm and Mom and Pop stops catered to truckers. Mom and Sis might have made the sandwiches and worked the cash register while Dad pumped the gas and made minor repairs. Junior washed vehicle windows and kept the restrooms clean.

That's a long gone memory of the past, as today huge truck plazas take up acres and, at any given time, there may be as many as 200 to 300 big rigs parked in the area.

Beginning in the 1920s, the authors trace how the truck stop in America (and to a lesser degree Canada) evolved over the decades. There was really no coast-to-coast trucking until the 1930s, but it was during that decade that the simple fuel/food stop began to morph into something much larger with a wide range of extra services.

The book's five, lavishly illustrated chapters begin with Pre Interstate Highway America and One-Stops, Little America, and Iowa 80. Then you'll motor on to Oil Company-Branded Truck Stops: Profiles of Brands, Truck Stop Operations and, finally, Truck Stop Advertising.

'If you are the least bit interested in the evolution of the North American truck stop, then jump into the passenger seat and sit with us as we shift our gears through the chapters on this past-to-present run,' write the authors. 'We'll pull our rig into some of the most prominent information stopovers on the truck stop information highway time-line, and delineate the roads we traveled to arrive at our destination. It will be a fascinating haul!'

If you are or were a professional trucker, no doubt you'll be familiar with many of the sites pictured in this book and this compendium of truck stops past and present will conjure up memories.

But even if you haven't maneuvered an 18 wheeler across the country, you've certainly passed these fuel stations, if not actually stopped in them. So, either way, you'll find this an interesting volume.

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