|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
(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
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.