On the Road Objects/Places
Benzedrine: Originally a psychological prescription drug, this was a popular drug because of its hallucinogenic properties well into the late sixties when it was replaced by Timothy Leary's LSD.
Cold Water Flat: A type of low income housing like a basement apartment.
GI Checks: These were veteran benefits from the GI bill signed after World War 2. They were intended for education. As a result of these benefits, a cultural revolution occurred because more people attended college than ever before.
Mann Act: An early 20th century act aimed at restricting interstate adultery and prostitution. By the second half of the 20th century, it was deemed unconstitutional.
Mississippi: In popular American mythology, the Mississippi river has become a symbol for the 'journey' and life itself. In purely geographical terms, it splits the United States into halves. Sal notes every time he crosses it.
New Orleans: Another sacred city of the Beat generation. This city was popular as the birthplace of blues.
New York City: New York is Salvatore Paradise's once and future home that he is always leaving, yet always returning to.
Okie: Originally a term for migrant workers displaced by the depression and the drought from the south Midwest. Kerouac's use of it is descriptive rather than pejorative.
San Francisco: This city was one of the holy cities of the Beat Generation partially because of its geographic location, but also because of a growing poet and jazz community.
Tea: Slang for marijuana. Marijuana was traditionally popular with jazz musicians but became appropriated by the Beat generation.