The American Highway Project is dedicated to preserving images of "the architecture and cultural landscapes situated along the highways of the U.S." Texaco stations and abandoned signs are nothing more than historical artifacts waiting to happen — ghost towns in the making (links via Eclogues). If there’s something that the web is really good at, it’s providing a venue for these images of vanished and vanishing worlds. James Lileks photo and postcard archives of the forgotten Midwest are the product of one man’s obsession, but they’re as fascinating in their own way as the jaw-dropping Prokudin-Gorskii photographs of Russia in the years preceding the First World War. The difference is that one will be displayed at the Library of Congress and one is available to me only online. I’m a soft case for American cultural ephemera, and this sort of website fills a huge gap. Even beloved icons like San Francisco’s Doggie Diner heads, which have narrowly escaped destruction a number of times, are subject to the indignities of wind and rain. There are worse things to imagine than a world unfamiliar with tacky motel logos and old-fashioned urban advertising, but thank goodness people are putting together archives and making them available while we still have more than pictures left. None