Howard Johnson was named after its founder, Howard Dearing Johnson. What would become the 1st modern motel-chain started out as the a small store in Qunicy, Massachusetts in 1925 that sold his own blend of ice cream in 3 flavors, strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. Eventually Johnson added hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. and was renamed the Howard Johnson Restaurant. Four years later, Johnson had enough business to open a second store and soon there were 25 different roadside stores accross the state.
In 1940, Johnson became the first to have a restaurant on a freeway when he was awarded a contract to build 9 of his resaurants along the New Jersey and Ohio Turnpike. By 1954, there were more than 400 Howard Johnsons across the nation and Johnson decided to enter the hotel business with the first in Savannah, Georgia.
Kaszynski, William. The American Highway