Tag: Roadside America

The Double Futuro House of Carlisle, Ohio

The Double Futuro House of Carlisle, Ohio

Futuro House
Carlisle, Ohio

While visiting Ohio in the fall of ’22, I stopped to see the double Futuro UFO House in the town of Carlisle. To the best of my knowledge, which isn’t much, this is the only instance of conjoined Futuros. Looking around the web, these two had previously appeared to be deteriorating but were clearly given a big dose of TLC.

The Futuro House was a uniquely designed prefab home, created by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the 1960s. It was designed to be a portable, affordable, and customizable dwelling that could be easily transported and assembled anywhere.

It’s most striking feature is clearly the distinctive saucer shape. The rounded design was not only super cool, but it was also functional. It’s curves allowed the house to withstand extreme weather conditions and heavy snow loads. It also helped to distribute the weight of the structure evenly. Plus… it looks like a UFO. So, there’s that.

Inside, the houses were designed to be spacious and open, with a minimalist aesthetic. The interior featured a central living space surrounded by a wraparound sofa, space-saving built in furniture and storage, and a small kitchen and bathroom. The Futuro House could accommodate up to eight people in its compact footprint.

The entire structure was made up of modular, interlocking pieces that could be quickly and easily assembled on site – a great choice for vacation homes, ski chalets, and temporary dwellings.

Despite its maximum fabulosity, the Futuro House never gained widespread popularity. Only something like a hundred were ever produced. Many of these unique homes were eventually dismantled and discarded, and today, only a handful remain.

Route 66 – Illinois

This green Futuro shell can be found on Route 66 in Livingston, Illinois outside of the Pink Elephant Antique Mall along with said pink elephant, a Harley-Davidson muffler man, and a curious collection of other roadside wonders.


This Futuro calls Milton, Delaware it’s Earth home.

Bigfoot’s Bodacious Sittin’ Muscle Revealed

Bigfoot’s Bodacious Sittin’ Muscle Revealed

bigfoot butt cheeks

Well? Now you know. Bigfoot has some junk in the trunk. He got them Applebottom jeans, the boots with the furrrrrr…

To be honest, I’m not sure why wondering about the goings on of the big man’s hindquarters hadn’t plagued me sooner, but here we are. Cryptid butt cheeks reveal themselves in their own time.

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Shell Oil Spectacular Vintage Sign – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Shell Oil Spectacular Vintage Sign – Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Shell Oil Spectacular Sign in Cambridge, Massachusetts is a Moderne vintage signage dream. Erected in 1933, this beloved sign has been blazing for a incredible 90 years! In 1994, the sign found its way onto the National Register of Historic Places.

Shell oil spectacular vintage sign - boston  cambridge Massachusetts
built in 1933 by Donnelly Electric Manufacturing Company

Shell Oil Spectacular Sign – Cambridge Historical Landmark

For those interested in the nuts and bolts of the sign, some interesting construction and historical facts can be found in documents from the Cambridge Historical Commission.

As someone who is not familiar with reading governmental documentation, the level of detail regarding the history, construction, and technology related to the sign included in the documents was surprising!

In 2009, the case for making the Shell Oil Spectacular sign a Cambridge historical landmark was resurrected and passed by the Cambridge Historical Commission.

Shell Oil Spectacular sign boston

Welcome to Hell!

As a humorous aside, according to Cambridge News, in 2019 the “S” became unlit, providing a decidedly different and hilarious view of the great sign:

My First Brush with Greatness

The day that we dropped our daughter off for her first year of college in Boston, we drove passed this aptly named Shell Spectacular sign for the first time. And this sign is exactly that – spectacular. From that day forward, each time I’ve been to Boston I’ve said to myself “I need to snap a picture of the sign this time!” It only took me 4 years to make good on that.

While visiting Boston a few weeks ago, we made a little detour during our Blue Bike ride and I was able to see this gorgeous baby up close, and while stationary. A real looker, huh?

Visit the Shell Oil Spectacular Sign

187 Magazine Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Muffler Man and Giraffe – Happy Halfwit of Oaks, Pennsylvania

Muffler Man and Giraffe – Happy Halfwit of Oaks, Pennsylvania

This happy halfwit Mortimer Snerd style Muffler Man and his super-cute giraffe friend can be found standing outside of Arnold’s Family Fun Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania.

Mullfer man Happy Halfwit and Giraffe fiberglass friends in Oaks, pennsylvania

Is it just me or does this muffler man look kind of shrug-y? Like his neck is too short. Or maybe his traps are huge. Either way, I can’t say I’ve ever noticed that before on any of the other guys. Maybe he carries all his stress in his shoulders.

fiberglass giraffe oaks pennsylvania

Something about that darn giraffe’s face is so sweet to me I just want to huggo the stuffin’ outta him. And the way he’s got that hind leg kicked back like a show dog? ::chef’s kiss:: Magnificent.

muffler man halfwit in oaks, pennsylvania

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating with each muffler man visit; it is fascinating to see what details a painter will highlight on a muffler man. The outlined choppers on this bad boy are a nice touch. It isn’t uncommon to see the Snerds with a gap-toothed smile. Instead, he’s giving piano keys with lips reminiscent of latter year Michael Jackson. It’s a lot.

Prior to this perch, this halfwit muffler man stood on the Seaside Heights, New Jersey boardwalk where he was cast off with other debris from Superstorm Sandy. Roadside America has a photograph of him laying prone in a heap. While a parking lot in Pennsylvania might not be as exciting as the boardwalk at Seaside, this relocation to Oaks is nonetheless a triumphant return for the scrappy giant.

Plus? Giraffe. Giraffe is a win.

In the time that I have had a conscious interest in muffler men it’s been wonderful to see more and more people documenting, restoring and caring about these bastions of Americana. Social media has certainly contributed positively to continuing their legacy.

Long live the muffs, forever and ever, amen.

Visit this Muffler Man and his Giraffe Buddy

2200 West Dr, Oaks, PA 19456

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