Archive for the ‘Road Maps’ category

Guaranteed service

October 27, 2007

Here’s a map from 1967 highlighting the state of Pennsylvania. Full-service gas stations were still the norm. The front and back of this map shows off the crisp and clean stations and uniformed attendants. It is noted that if the workers fail to clean your windshield and check the oil, your gasoline purchase is free. Good times.



Mobilize with Mobil

October 27, 2007

This 1940s road map was handed out by the Mobilinn Cafe and Curios located at the intersection of highways U.S. 60, 66 and 87 in Amarillo, Texas. Mobil Oil’s Flying Red Horse was a common sight along the highways of old.


Take 66 to the World’s Fair

June 30, 2007

In 1939, the Highway Travel Service produced this neat map to guide motorists to the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. The map focuses mainly on U.S. 66 – The Will Rogers Highway – and all the great stops along the way.


Using maps and lists, a Fair-bound traveler could plot out places to eat, stay and visit. Caverns and other cave attractions were big advertisers in this edition of the map. I like to folksy-style of writing used to describe sights along the way.


In addition, the map has a great line drawing on the Chain of Rocks Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River near St. Louis. Today, the bridge is just for pedestrians.


Masterpiece map

May 25, 2007

There are plenty of beautiful road maps. But this 1929 example from Shell would be on many folks Top 10 list. Almost 80 years old, this relic shows a bountiful landscape filled with the optimism of people on the move. And who wouldn’t want to stop at that crackerbox-style gas station? This map heralded in a decade of gorgeous map covers, which will be displayed here in the coming months.


Drive U.S. 60 and 66

May 4, 2007

Here’s a cool combo map and guide to Highways 60 and 66. The Highway Travel Service, based in Waterloo, Iowa, produced dozens of maps in the 1930s and 40s. This map from 1939, showed travelers the way from Virginia to California. One of the best parts of this guide are the nifty ads inside. Cafes, motels and scenic sights crowd the road map cartography.



The maps are simple. A bold blue line defines the main route. Handwritten labels add charm to this vintage map.


Tulsa’s connection

April 19, 2007

This handy little map, from the 1930s, promoted travel to and from Tulsa, Okla. along U.S. 66. The map is illustrated with hand-drawn cartography and scenes from the different states. A thicket of oil wells greeted travelers in Oklahoma. Cactus, canyons and mountains added luster to Arizona. Large cities, like Chicago and St. Louis are shown, as well as tinier towns like Texola and Holbrook. The map has one minor goof – the spelling of Albuquerque…a common city to misspell.


Check out these maps

March 12, 2007

I wrote a piece that appeared today in The Kansas City Star. The story was about the many navigation choices travelers have when they hit the road. GPS devices, online mapping services and, of course, the traditional road map. Well, I bet you can guess what I like to use. Anyhow, here is a link to the story and, maybe of more interest, a graphic presentation showing the dazzling illustrations that have graced the covers of many a highway map. Click on the interactive graphic to see the show.