Springfield, Missouri is known as the birthplace of Route 66. That’s why this year’s catalog features a Route 66 theme of travel and excitement! One of the finest examples of Americana, Route 66 touts a signature style comprised of 50s nostalgia, road and motor memorabilia, and knickknaks.
Aside from the thrill of travel, what draws folks from around the world are the souvenirs. As the birthplace for the mother road, there is no shortage of catchpenny items reminiscent of the route’s heyday. So, we did a little digging around our hometown to find a bit of kitsch.
The storefront at Mother Road Antiques and Uniques!
Founded in 2013, Mother Road Antiques and Uniques went from an abandoned building to a premier Springfield hot spot for Route 66 nostalgia. The store is full of branded keepsakes like magnets, snow globes, t-shirts and shot glasses. It’s also brimming with antique toys, photos, postcards and license plates.
But we’re here to talk about kitsch, so let’s get to it!
Figurines like these adorable porcelain kittens and their mom are ones you may have seen gracing the end tables and China cabinets of your grandmother’s house. Kitsch items circa 1950 were often made from delicate material like porcelain, but painted to be bold, bright and shiny!
Made from glass or metal, one can easily find a dog or rooster in shops like these. While you can likely find any animal, knickknacks tend to feature domestic animals commonly found in the US. Of course, there are plenty of less-furry figurines, like these clowns.
Consumerism, convenience and corporations all permeate the culture of kitsch. This inflatable Ronald McDonald is a prime example. While McDonald’s began as a humble one-off establishment, the convenience it offered to roadtrippers was truly groundbreaking. While the original location along the route is no longer a restaurant, it is home to the McDonald’s museum.. The drive-in and eventually, the drive thru, are still a major part of American identity.
Bright mascots used as spokespeople became beloved characters, much like the Fred Flinstone figurine standing in front of Ronald. Fred went from cartoon star to a symbol of consumerism himself, with his popular line of sugary cereals called Fruity Pebbles.
Some souvenirs are little less vibrant. On the other end of things, Route 66 memorabilia is all about the core of the trip: the car.
The grungy look of these vintage oil cans is part of the appeal.
Classic cars, vintage gas pumps and license plates are a core part of the Route 66 aesthetic. Getting into the spirit of nostalgia is a major facet of Americana.
No matter where your license plate is from, you can get your kitsch with ease on Route 66! Grab your own piece of the mother road SLC style by picking up our 2018 supply guide. This catalog is packed with thousands of products and it’s free!