Resurrecting Memories Of Route 66 Signs

Aug 18, 2017

Route 66, which stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles, endures in the minds of many as a road that represented the freedom of jumping in a car and heading West for adventure. The signs along Route 66 were an integral part of that experience. Many of these distinctive signs along New Mexico stretches of Route 66 were created here in Albuquerque by Zeon Signs.

Design for Eddie's Inferno
Credit Courtesy Mark Childs

Ellen Babcock stumbled upon the designs for many of these signs while working with the nonprofit she founded, Friends of the Orphan Signs. Babcock is an associate professor of art and art history in the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico. Her colleague, Mark Childs, professor of architecture and associate dean of research in the school of Architecture and Planning, suggested they do a book on the signs. That book, The Zeon Files, was published by UNM Press. The Center for Southwest Research at UNM has catalogued the collection of sketches and plans to scan them and make them available online.

Also on this episode we speak with the news editor and executive editor of the Daily Lobo about covering campus vigils and protests and plans for the new semester.

Design for Bimbo's sign
Credit Courtesy Mark Childs


  • Ellen Babcock, associate professor, UNM College of Arts
  • Mark Childs, professor and associate dean of research, School of Architecture and Planning
  • Celia Raney, news editor, Daily Lobo
  • Elizabeth Sanchez, executive editor, Daily Lobo

Design for Totah Theater in Farmington
Credit Courtesy Mark Childs