Route 66 sketches found showing original neon desins

Route 66 sketches found showing original neon desins

ALBUQUERQUE (EON) – Designs for signs that were advertising businesses along historic Route 66 have been found and preserved. Some of the route’s history can be seen in a tiny corridor in Kansas.

Route 66 was one of the first highways in the U.S. It ran from east to west – Chicago to Santa Monica.

From 1926 until Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway Act in 1956, the highway was a migratory path, especially during the dust bowl of the 30s and much later as a touristy road to American sites for vacationers.

Along the road grew gas stations and restaurants and a motel that became popular.

In this Tuesday, May 9, 2017, photo University of New Mexico associate professor of sculpture Ellen Babcock holds one of the neon design sketches she found among old business files belonging to Zeon Signs in Albuquerque, N.M. The sketches include designs for some of the most memorable neon signs along historic Route 66 in Albuquerque and elsewhere. They are now preserved at the university's Center for Southwest Research. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
In this Tuesday, May 9, 2017, photo University of New Mexico associate professor of sculpture Ellen Babcock holds one of the neon design sketches she found among old business files belonging to Zeon Signs in Albuquerque, N.M. The sketches include designs for some of the most memorable neon signs along historic Route 66 in Albuquerque and elsewhere. They are now preserved at the university’s Center for Southwest Research. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

Ellen Babcock found the route 66 sketches during one of her many visits to Zeon Signs as part of her interest in sign-making and the installation of public artwork on unused signs in Albuquerque.

“Finely drawn and just gorgeous,” Babcock said of the first drawing she unfolded.

Route 66 only passes through Kansas for 12 miles, but the corridor has Baxter Springs’ Phillip 66 gas station – with its cottage style building and steeply sloping red roof, the Brush Creek Marsh Arch Bridge, William’s Store in Riverton and the Galena Viaduct.

Many of the highway signs were neon the and design sketches will be preserved in Albuquerque.

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