This is another installment in my 20th Century Americana series...
The Clam Box restaurant is located at 246 High Street, Ipswich, Massachusetts. This is on Route 1A, which is an old coastal road dating back hundreds of years. When automobiles were invented early in the 20th century, businesses began to compete for the new mobile customers who were out and about on the roadways. Some very inventive advertising art and architecture happened in this time period, and the Clam Box is typical of this new style of business. This "programmatic architecture" resembles what is sold inside, which is boxes of clams. In Route 1 in Wells, Maine there is a cheese shop shaped like a wheel of cheese, and on Route 1 in Saugus, Massachusetts there is are several restaurants shaped like Chinese Pagodas (Chinese food), the Tower of Pisa (pizza), etc. etc. These old highways are good place for spotting fun early 20th Century Americana like this restaurant.
The Clam Box restaurant serves fried clams in the little, white cardboard clam boxes that are so familiar all over New England. If you aren't from around here, check out this photo:
and now check out this photo of how the restaurant originally looked as a white food stand:
The Clam Box is now a destination drawing people from all over New England for fried clams and seafood. My parents used to stop here, and yours probably did, too! Is there a similar old drive-in in your area? Did your parents and grandparents visit there? What stories do they have?
The Clam Box website: http://www.ipswichma.com/clambox/
Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo