ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Hundreds of design sketches for some of Route 66's most memorable neon signs in New Mexico's largest city and other spots along the famous road have been preserved and are now part of a university's special collection .
Two professors teamed up to rescue the colorful, hand-drawn midcentury designs from a cache of old business records at an Albuquerque sign-making shop after they were deemed a fire hazard.
Mark Childs is an associate dean and professor at the University of New Mexico's school of architecture. He and associate sculpture professor Ellen Babcock turned the find into a book in 2016. New Mexico preservation officials honored the two last week for their work to salvage the historic drawings.
The professors say the designs marked the beginnings of what would become touchstones and mementos for travelers and people who lived along the highway.
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