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A History of Howard Johnson's: How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became an American Icon

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 Jamaica Plain  See map

The JP Historical Society presents an illustrated talk by Anthony M Sammarco


For most of the twentieth century the orange roof of Howard Johnson's was a familiar sight along the great American roadside. When a motorist spotted a Howard Johnson's, they knew exactly what to expect - with standardized menus and building designs, a Howard Johnson's miles away felt as familiar and comforting as the one back home. Howard Johnson restaurants, in attractive Colonial Revival buildings sporting orange roofs and sea blue shutters opened throughout the New England area. By the late 1930's, with the popularity of the automobile, these restaurants were opened on major roads and interstate highways where the travellingpublic could be assured of consistently high quality foods that were the same served locally whether in Maine or Florida. 


The very first of the iconic HoJo's buildings was constructed in Jamaica Plain and our lecture is being held close to the former site!


Anthony M. Sammarco has lectured frequently on local Boston history and is the author of more than sixty books on the history of Bostonand surrounding cities and towns. His efforts to make history more accessible to the general public have led to many awards and honors. He teaches history at the Urban College of Boston. 

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