Let's Hit the Open Road for Ice Cream Cones

The Library of Congress, it turns out, has an absolutely amazing collection of midcentury roadside ice cream signs, all of which are making me desperate for a soft-serve cone and a cheeseburger, and now I am passing that longing on to you.


All the images are part of the library’s John Margolies Roadside America photograph archive. Margolies was an architecture critic and photographer who specialized in precisely this sort of stylishly quirky, eye-catching structure. According to his New York Times obituary, Margolies “was considered the country’s foremost photographer of vernacular architecture—the coffee shops shaped like coffeepots; the gas station shaped like a teapot (the Teapot Dome Service Station in Zillah, Wash.); and the motels shaped like all manner of things, from wigwams to zeppelins to railroad cars — that once stood as proud totems along America’s blue highways.” One of the things he had a great eye for, apparently, was ice cream signs.

Here’s one from Knoxville in 1984, a fully anthropomorphized cone man with is sort of wrinkly around the face, in a relatable way:

Here’s a more realistic direction; personally I recommend the Zesto in Atlanta and specifically the “Nut Brown Crown.”

One for the “inexplicably but also good literary reference” files:


I guess, for now, a popsicle and a bag of chips will have to do.

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel



if you’re ever in halifax, you have to hit chickenburger, which is arguably canada’s oldest drive-in diner and inarguably, nova scotia’s finest dining option

it’s got the neon, it’s got the old building, it’s got a kitschy addition, but more than that, it’s got perfect cheeseburgers, onion rings and fries.