Roadside Giants

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Press:Stackpole Books Stackpole Books; First Edition edition (September 27, 2005)
Author Name:Butko, Brian/ Butko, Sarah


From Lucy, the colossal elephant-shaped building on the Jersey Shore, to the grand donut atop Randy's in Los Angeles, this full-color guide profiles the commercial giants that loom over America's highways. 
Created to sell products and promote tourism in a big way, they can be found all over the United States.
The authors have traveled far and wide to bring readers the world's largest duck in Long Island, an enormous Amish couple in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and towering Paul Bunyans all over the Midwest.
There are buildings shaped like hot dogs, ice cream cones, and baskets, as well as the roadside phenomena known as "Muffler Men," giants who originally advertised mufflers but now have been converted to cowboys, Indians, spacemen, and pirates.
Big fun!

About the Author

Brian Butko lives in the Pittsburgh metro area and is the nation's leading authority on the Lincoln Highway. 
He is a founding director of the new Lincoln Highway Association.


Travel,Specialty Travel,Tourist Destinations & Museums,Arts & Photography,Collections, Catalogs & Exhibitions,Politics & Social Sciences,Anthropology,Cultural

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Comment List (Total:6)

  •     Sarah and Brian Butko have another winner with Roadside Giants! Their joy of life comes through loud and clear here as they share with us the wonderful and wacky sights along the open road. Just like their fantastic 'Greetings from the Lincoln Highway' and 'Roadside Attractions', this book will have you packing your suitcases for a road trip, either real or armchair! Either way, you will enjoy this book!
  •     This book depicts examples of the various types of fiberglass statues they call 'giants' from coast to coast. Started originally as an ax-wielding Paul Bunyan, they became auto-related and usually held mufflers in their hands as they were in front of the businesses. The one pictured called Cowboy Sam, the big man in white because he also wears an enormous white cowboy hat, is thirty-foot-tall is in front of a restaurant. He was found at a Chicago restaurant show in 1962 and relocated to Pennsylvania, where the author lives. Originally, the Shoney's restaurants in this area had Big Boy statues out in front of their places, until people started carting them off. This cowboy has a black bow tie which makes him pretty classy.This phenomenon started back in the 1920s used them in place of big signs to look like the products they were selling. In Knoxville, there were (and still are a couple left standing) of the tall ice-cream cones in front of the Kay's Ice Cream Shops. Now, the specialty is to have air-filled floppy imitations to get the attention of the public.In the Introduction, they write that it is hard for the public, historians, and civic planners to view such attractions as historic; there is a building out on Clinton Highway built like a bi-plane and was originally a service station. A group raised funds to repair the dilapidated building and possibly transform it into a museum of some type. We also have two very large, black fiberglass cannons in front of our old courthouse. The World's Largest Teapot in West Virginia started out as a huge wooden barrel for Hire's Root Beer, but with the handle, top and spout, it magically turns into a teapot.As the authors continue to take their trips to keep track of the elusive giants, they conclude that many have been preserved and there are actually some new ones out there. They've taken many trips to photograph the most unusual. There is an strange one near Denver. This book spotlights their favorites of the larger-than-life spectacular attention-getters from travelers and gives directions for finding them. Mr. Butko has written some books about unique diners, and his other book, GREETINGS FROM THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY.
  •     Readers can discover the eccentric tendencies of American roadways in Roadside Giants co-authored by Brian and Sarah Butko. Roadside Giants is the fun travel guide to exploring the roadside intricacies and oddities of American culture, applying "an-easy-to use" map of America's giants with enhanced with full color pictures, aspect dimensions, address and location and a brief history for each of the dozens of featured places. Roadside Giants is very highly recommended, particularly to the parents of family looking for a fun and interesting travel idea.
  •     Loved it. Found many places I'd really like to visit.
  •     This book really captures all the great memories of going on vacation as a child. The Butko's do a wonderful job of finding all the great places, some off the beaten track and others not so off track, to help make memories for you and your children to take a driving vacation. The best memories seem to be the unplanned stops along the way. The authors make finding unusual spots a whole lot easier. The book is perfect to fit in the glove compartment to have handy no matter where your drive takes you. You are guaranteed to find a spot to stop somewhere along the way. By the authors taking all the guess work out of where to stop I think it will enable you to take in more roadside attractions and easier to plan the vacation. The pictures entice you to want to see all the attractions in person. This book definitely deserves a thumbs up! Great job!
  •     This book is okay. There are a lot of cool things to see in the U.S. and this book does point you to where to go to find them. I do wish that it was in order by state and not attraction.

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