Books

The Complete Route 66 Lost & Found

Publication Information
ISBN: 9780760334928 
RRP: £14.99 
Format: Hardback, 320 pages, 210mm x 210mm, 2008 
Photos/Illustrations: 20 colour & 300 b/w photographs, 40 diagrams 
Subject: Cars 
Publisher: Voyageur Press 
Author: Russell A Olsen
The Complete Route 66 Lost & Found by Russell A Olsen

Route 66 was America’s main east-west artery, pointing the nation toward all the promise that California represented. To serve these travelers, “The Mother Road” boasted bustling commercial hubs, some of which remain today, many more of which crumbled long ago.

Now Russell Olsen’s best-selling collections examining 150 Route 66 filling stations, main streets, motor courts, cafés, campgrounds, honky-tonks, truck stops, bars, and barbecue joints as they appeared both in their heyday and today are available in one package.

The marvelous visual and descriptive elements assembled here – period postcards and imagery, specially commissioned maps, and Olsen’s own modern photography and capsule histories of the sites featured – comprise a unique, state-by-state look back at America’s Main Street.


Review by Gordon Hamilton

You would think this kind of book would be really easy to produce. The sort of thing you could do yourself. I’ve read a few now and then type of books,and as a rule the laziness is apparent throughout. The now photos not quite taken in the same spot as the originals. Sometimes library pictures used as the now shots.

Thankfully Russell A. Olsen actually drove the mother road when he was gathering content for the Route 66 lost and found series. The version I bought is ‘The complete route 66 lost and found’. And is basally the first two volumes brought together in one volume.

The book runs a good 316 pages,with before and after pictures on them all. There is a synopsis of what you are looking at. Well researched and to the point. The pictures themselves are what makes the book. The before pictures for the most part were loaned from collectors,and most of us will not have seen them anywhere else. The now pictures are what sets Olsen’s work apart from other books in this field. Olsen actually travelled the route and done his best to take photos in the same spot or as close as possible to the original. This gives the reader the opportunity to observe the changes in the locations.

One worry was the now photos are now themselves over twenty years old. And lets face facts the Unites States has changed a lot in the past couple of decades. Detroit for example. But that presents an opportunity to do a little research. A fun day using Google earth and Olsen’s book as a guide,shows the locations Olsen used are easily findable. And to be honest most of the locations haven’t changed that much since Olsen travelled route 66.

So whether you are interested in travelling the mother road,how post war America has changed,architecture,or just enjoy this type of thing. Then I recommend you join Olsen as he travels east to west along route 66. A very easy book to dip in and out from,or read cover to cover.The choice is yours.

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