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Arizona Motel: 1942

Arizona Motel: 1942

February 1942. "Tourist court. Phoenix, Arizona." An early example of Desert Neon Noir. Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Lone Snag Motel

Seen here some 17 years later (both visible cars are 1959 vintage), the sign and counterweight are gone, but the dead tree still stands.


Glowing Praise

I really like the neon Shorpy!

Lit Up

In response to those desiring a colorized look, at the neon sign, my feeble attempt.

I'm impressed

it lasted long enough to be remodeled and remodeling was chosen over demolition. The remodeling is fairly recent; attached is a combined Google Maps photo showing before remodeling and Google Earth photo showing during. It looked to be in pretty bad shape.

Click to embiggen.

"Air Cooled"

So is "Air Cooled" could mean airconditioning, a swamp cooler, or even a fan. I wonder which it was?

Nice Neon

Such an evocative photo! If only it could have been in color.

Still there -- sort of

It's been remodeled and is now transitional housing. Better than being razed to the ground like so many other things in Phoenix.

Non-noir version

Let the sunshine in!

Introducing the 1941 Mercury

Here’s an original dealer training film that details the features of the all-new Mercury line for 1941.

Look out below!

A counterweight to that neon sign, hung from a dead tree branch.
I would advise you not to stand (or park your car) underneath it.

Balancing Act?

I'm betting that's a natural rock or poured concrete round boulder carefully tied and used as a counterweight for the motel sign. Pretty clever and a good use of resources.

Sign of a weighty matter

That big suspended ball to the right of the motel sign appears to be a counterweight holding the sign up. Why all that to hold a sign up? Perhaps it was to apply a traditonal abobe-style way of holding a sign up, in keeping with style of the motel. If in fact that sign setup is in keeping with the adobe motif.

Beautiful sign

I love the little detail of the 2 short neon tubes on the bottom of the sign that light up the AAA panel.

Going out on a limb

I am loath to reveal such ignorance but where better to be set straight than here? WHAT is that disc-shaped (or spherical) thing hanging to the right of the neon sign? It appears to be inside (or outlined by) a cage-like (for lack of a better term) structure made of woven rope. Is it a nest or hive? It looks vaguely snakelike. And those are all the clues I'm going to give you.

[It is the counterweight on a neonized version of an old-school well sweep. - Dave]

Once again y'all do not disappoint. I would never in a million years have got that lid off on my own but would you have got it off if I hadn't loosened it for you? Just saying. I mean, just kidding.

Business trip ...

Or family vacation? Whatever it is, the photograph is great! But what's puzzling me is the scrotum hanging on the crossbar to the right of the sign.

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