The birth of cruising: San Francisco welcomes the automobile age.

Mission Bell Motel’s Suggested 35 Mile Drive and Scenic Tour of San Francisco


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SKU: NL-00951 Category: Tag:
Cartographer(s): M-W-M Color Press
Date: ca. 1940
Place: Aurora, MO
Dimensions: 8.5 x 3.75 in (closed); 22 x 17 in (open)
Condition Rating: VG+


This promotional brochure for the now lost Mission Bell Motel offers a map of San Francisco on one side and a half-page bird’s-eye-view on the other side. It harkens to the earliest days of “cruising,” i.e. automobile tourism. The construction of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, along with advances in automobile design and construction, led more and more people to tour the Golden State by car. Lodgings like the Mission Bell proliferated to meet the new demand.

The bird’s-eye-view has been adapted from an image copyrighted by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company in 1932. A warning on the map page reminds drivers to “block wheels when parking on grade,” stating that the rule is strictly enforced, a fact that locals know holds true today.


M-W-M Color Press

M-W-M Color Press was a printing company based in Aurora, Missouri.

Condition Description

Folding map, very good.