This presentation is part of Are We There Yet? Preservation of Roadside Architecture & Attractions Symposium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 10-12, 2018.

By Joel Baker

Abstract

From 1962 to 1972 the International Fiberglass company in Venice CA produced hundreds of figures, animals and giants for numerous businesses, amusement parks and tourist attracts across the country. Although many were discarded in the 1970s and 80s, their popularity started to grow again in the 90s and today many of these remaining giants still stand and are known as Muffler Men. American Giants was founded in 2012 with a purpose of bringing awareness to the giants and digging up their history and stories. In 2014 we started hunting for the long lost giants, finding and restoring them when possible. American Giants does some of the most extensive restorations on these giants to bring them back to what they once were. The purpose is to add another 50 years to their life and preserve them so they can be enjoyed by the public once more as roadside attractions. We also act as a recourse center for those interested in the giants or who may wish to restore or purchase one. Saving and bringing back a bit of 1960s roadside America is the name of the game for us.

Bio

Joel Baker discovered Muffler Men in early 2011, and what started out as a bit of fun grew into a real passion for tracking down and finding muffler men and sharing their stories and history. He launched the American Giants website in January of 2013 and started producing a YouTube series shortly after. Joel has recognized the interest many travelers have in Americana, and the unique roadside attractions popular in the 1960s. He has worked hard to provide detailed history of these fiberglass giants and also rescues and restores them so they can be enjoyed for many more years to come.

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119