Remember This? The Road Atlas

Planning a vacation? Before you load the car, check your road atlas to be sure you have the latest edition and updated highway information.

When President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act on June 29, 1956 to create the “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways”, it slowly changed how Americans traveled across the nation. The U.S. Highway System, which had connected major cities with smaller towns for generations of travelers, was re-routed to create “super-highways” that by passed smaller towns and bi-sected major cities with a multitude of access ramps for speedy travel.

U.S. 66, also known as Route 66, allowed travelers to drive from Chicago to Los Angeles, albeit in a winding manner that followed the landscape of the land. The Interstate system graded the land for paving for a more direct route and portions of U.S. 66 had been supplanted by I-44 across Oklahoma by the mid-1960’s.

As traveling across America via horse-drawn wagons was replaced by automobiles, road maps became more frequent, as roads were paved and widened to accommodate more traffic. Rand-McNally published the first road map for autos in 1904. The Gulf Oil Co. began the frequent practice of handing out free maps to travelers that asked for directions in 1920.

The worn road atlas shown here was produced by This Week Magazine, a weekly supplement that was distributed across the nation to newspaper subscribers and published from 1935-1969. In addition to including maps of all 50 states, the atlas contains flip-out maps for Canada, Latin America, major cities and various national parks.

A section of travel tips advises travelers driving along the turnpike they should stop “every hundred miles…for a little walk-around. Do some muscle stretching, some knee-bends. Touch your toes with your fingertips”. A travel diary on the last page dates this atlas to 1965; the destination was Canada.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Remember This? Gates Ol’ Kentuck Barbecue

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Countless barbeque restaurants dot the neighborhoods in and around Kansas City today, but during the early years […]


    Lincoln Electric Park, a delight to the city’s Negro population

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News As part of our Black History Month, we revisit a set of images we ran in […]


    Remember This? Ragtime two-step

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor More than 70 years after its composition, a Ragtime two step became a chart-topping recording. “The Entertainer” […]


    Paseo YMCA plays major role in Black History

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week, as part of our ongoing Black History Month series, we spotlight the Paseo YMCA located […]


    Remember This? I AM LOVED pin-back buttons

    February 10th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor It’s a small item with a big message that’s been translated into multiple languages and sent to […]


    Family Flower business a staple of Northeast Community

    February 10th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Rose Marie Serrone opened her flower and gift shop in a single story, Art Deco-style building in […]


    Remember This? The electric coffee percolator

    February 3rd, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Need coffee for a crowd? Perk up your party with a Party Percolator that brews dozens of […]


    Quindaro town-site, an important portal on the Underground Railroad

    February 3rd, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher During Black History Month, our Historic Postcard column will spotlight locations and people important to Black History […]


  • State of the art zoo for 1909

    January 27th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This circa 1914 hand colored postcard published by the Southwest News company of Kansas City, Missouri shows […]


    Remember This? Gremlins Cereal

    January 27th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Do you have any Gremlins in your kitchen cupboard? From the shoebox to the cereal box, this […]


    Remember this? Bathroom radios

    January 20th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor It’s a radio – it’s a toilet paper holder – it’s both! Combining two practical items into […]


    Flying High in Kansas City

    January 20th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week, in theme with our Remember This column on a novelty transistor radio, we’re featuring another […]


    Faultless Starch Reading Library

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week’s postcard is a bit of a departure from the penny postcard we normally profile in […]


    Remember this? Trading stamps

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Lick ’em, stick ’em, save ’em and trade ’em for quality merchandise – it was like getting […]


    Remember This: Desk calendars

    January 6th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Though the style may change, perpetual calendars never go completely out-of-date. Often designed for desk-top display, early […]


    New year, new calendar

    January 6th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week we continue our novelty postcard series with a couple of postcards that follow our “Remember […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Postcard


  • Remember This?


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.