public programming meeting – january 29, 2010

Results from discussion at Public Programming Meeting, January 29, 2010

Three main events/projects to plan:

1.    opening reception at Johnson and Wales

2.    cell phone tour of relating sites around Providence

3.    possible third event, to take place at location beyond johnson &  wales

Details/issues discussed:

1. opening reception
contingent partially on how exhibit comes together
hope to serve food related to exhibit subject

2. cell phone tour
self-guided tour focusing on related sites around providence
hope to integrate an oral history component into the tour
bring in food truck interviews/site visits in effort to broaden scope of exhibit–will be especially interesting as a way to discuss the people serving the food, too

3. film festival


provides an alternative way to invite community participation beyond the exhibit walls
could allow for the expansion of ideas addressed in exhibit
possibility to use newly restored Xavier auditorium, at downtown J&W campus

difficulty in procuring films closely related to subject matter, that  will also draw an interested audience
films need to be appropriate for community screenings

cost of screening rights – adds up quickly for multiple films significant time and energy could be spent working on a project that has less impact than hoped for

hoping that we will be able to reach a wider audience, and explore potentially more interesting topics by devoting more attention to planning the cell-phone tour  – given time/participation restraints, might be more useful to focus on dynamic cell phone tour rather than planning film screenings where participation might be limited


Meeting Minutes: Public Programming Team, 11/30/09

Notes from Heather and Sara’s Meeting with Pat Malone about FOTM 12/16/09


  • Fred Harvey Company – worked with the railroad to provide food before food was served on board
  • Dream Trains – book about Native American railroad tourism
  • American tourism starts with the railroad around 1820 due to more comfortable travel
  • Food was available at the rail stops, but the train didn’t stop for long; Then food became available on board (Pullman Cars); Pullman cars were independently operated, Pullman Porters contributed to the rise of the black middle class

Ships/ Boats

  • Packet boats traveled along canals, canal locks became comfort stations and the lock tender was often a tavern keeper
  • Stagecoach moved west as canals expanded in the east
  • Steamboats drove the rise of the luxury hotel because accommodations at sea were such much grander than on land


  • Cars are connected with the stagecoach
  • Salesmen:
    • Many travelers were salesmen through the 1930s and 40s
    • Salesmen stayed at hotels which didn’t appeal to tourists, so they started using camps
  • Picnicking: people became bringing sophisticated cooking equipment with them on the road
  • Early Tourist Form: Tea Garden
  • Roadside Restaurants:
    • Mom & Pop loses out to franchises
    • Shift from variation to standardized food, begins with standardized drinks (drive-in/ A & W root beer)
    • Bob’s Big Boy
    • White Castle, Hot Dogs by the Bag
  • Roadside Architecture representative of food – blend of the symbolic and theoretical
    • Igloo suggests cold food
    • Restaurant in shape of food, hot dog; could represent ethnic association (i.e. tamale)
    • Donuts
    • Tail of the Pup in LA, hot dogs
  • Truck Driver Market
    • Grapes of Wrath film includes truck stop scene
    • Crime movies with roadside restaurants
  • Race & Class – African American Green Books; Diners became “classless”
  • Social Dimension: Going for a drive with the family; driving as an activity, food became an excuse to go for a ride (go for donuts, ice cream, etc.)
  • Dairy-related: milk, ice cream
  • Sources:
    • Open Road by Phil Patton
    • Googie by Alan Hess, about California coffee shops
    • The Strip
    • California Crazy by Jim Heimann
    • Americans on the Road: From Autocamp to Motel, 1910-1945 by Warren James Belasco
    • Orange Roof, Golden Arches by Langdon
    • Primary Source: Emily Post’s By Motor to Golden Gate, contains a lot about hotels and food
    • Matt Roth (Pat’s former student), Southern California Auto Association
    • Photorealism – Roy Striker/ Photo Documentation
    • Film: Postman Rings Twice features roadside restaurant
  • Exhibits that do it well:
    • Henry Ford Museum, Automobile in American Life by Matt Roth
    • Petersen Automobile Museum, LA County Museums


  • Primary Sources: Maps/ Guidebooks/ Green Books (African American guide to stops) – Ask Steve Lubar about these

      Addendum to December 7th Meeting

      1) You’ll find a map of the space attached with the FOTM space blocked off. You’ll notice that there are four sections in addition to the tavern. I think it’s fair to say that each of these sections represents one of our big four questions. This means that each group (apart from Janet’s) gets roughly 17 running feet and a projection of roughly six feet off the wall. This space is not a solid block for each group, since the materials from each group will be distributed among the sections, but just a guideline so that, as you gather your materials you’ll have an idea of how much stuff you need.

      2) As for the amount of words you’ll need, we can imagine each of these four sections having a main panel. If each panel is 500 words (the absolute max, I would imagine, we’ll have to clear this with Richard), then each group is allowed roughly 100 words on each question. There are object labels, each of which can probably carry a max of 50-70 words. And then we can think about having smaller panels. These might tell our “wild card” stories or subtopics. In any case, these would probably not be longer than 250 words each. Wild card stories could also go on a gang label or an object label if they were short, which they’ll need to be anyway.

      3) If you need a research assistant and you don’t have one yet, talk to Bess or contact Adrian to see who else from the programming group you might work with.

      Minutes: December 1, Johnson and Wales

      Minutes: November 19, 2009

      Minutes: November 12, 2009