1926 -- U.S. Highway Numbers

The legend on this 1926 Conoco map shows something not on the previous year's issue: U.S. Highway Numbers.   The symbol for the "United States Inter-State Highway Marker" appears in addition to descriptions and identification of the various regional and national named auto trails that were in use up to this point.

(An aside: This Web site is called "Oldtrails" in honor of one of those named highways of yesteryear, the National Old Trails Road.  It went from Baltimore or Washington, D.C., more than 3,000 miles west to Los Angeles.  Portions of it in the East and Midwest became part of my very favorite highway, U.S. 40.  And much further west, other portions evolved into America's most famous numbered road, Route 66.)    

The map itself was attached inside the thick cover depicted here, and is labeled the "Rand McNally Official 1926 Auto Road Map."   It shows locations where Conoco products were available.  The Conoco brand name, despite corporate doings and oil company mergers, is still around, and is still the purveyor of fuel in Yellowstone National Park.

Within three and half decades the red, white and blue Interstate highway markers would make their appearance as that express highway network took shape.  What a leap.  What a period of change in the transportation and cultural history of the country. 

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