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Q: 1930's Travel routes and times ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: 1930's Travel routes and times
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: elizabethdeveer-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 30 Apr 2006 06:51 PDT
Expires: 30 May 2006 06:51 PDT
Question ID: 724103
Hi there, 
I am writing a novel that takes place in 1935 and involves plotting a
journey by car from Oklahoma to Georgia. I am trying to get the
journey as historically accurate as possible and wish I knew more
precise information about how people would have driven from point to
point and how long it might have taken them and where they might have
stopped along the way. Ideally, I would love a version of Mapquest
that used 1935 routes (but I don't think that exists, does it?) I know
that if I actually went to the states in question, there might be map
archives, but that would involve a lot more time and money than I have
to invest. Do you have any idea how to gain this info? Is there an
organization? A company? A web site? A book? Help!! Thanks very much!
Subject: Re: 1930's Travel routes and times
Answered By: scriptor-ga on 30 Apr 2006 12:18 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear elizabethdeveer,

The best I can offer you are road maps from the approximate time frame
(1928-1939). These maps show the available roads

and their surface types, so you can roughly calculate what travel
speed would be possible and in what towns they would stop.

For Arkansas, I only found road maps for the individual counties which
you will have to download to your hard disk and then

open with graphics software to view. It will therefore be necessary
that you plan through what counties your travellers will drive

on their way eastward. This map of Arkasas counties [7] may prove helpful:

The maps for Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are, alas, not very
convenient to use since they are primarily made for

being viewed online, in a rather small window. However, once you have
zoomed in at a level and location you desire, you can

click at the map window with the right mouse button and use the "save
image" option to save the current image to your hard

disk. Then, you can open it with graphics software.

These are the maps I found:

Oklahoma Highway Map, 1928 (PDF file for Acrobat Reader; can be printed) [1]

Arkansas Historical County Maps - 1936 [3]

Road Map of Mississippi, 1938 [4]



State Road Map of Alabama, 1935 [5]



Georgia State Roads Map, 1939 [2]

For an alternative route through Tennessee instead of Mississippi and Alabama:
Road Condition Map of Tennessee, 1938 [6]



I hope that this will be helpful!


[1] Oklahoma Department of Transportation: State Highway Map Archive

[2] University of Georgia Libraries: Rare Map Collection - Transportation

[3] Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department: Arkansas
Historical County Maps - 1936

[4] Alabama Maps: Historical Maps of Mississippi

[5] Alabama Maps: Alabama State Road Maps

[6] Alabama Maps: Historical Maps of Tennessee

[7] University of Texas Libraries: Perry-Castaņeda Library Map
Collection - Arkansas Maps

Search terms successfully used:
georgia historical map roads
oklahoma historical map roads
arkansas historical maps
mississippi historical map
arkansas counties

Clarification of Answer by scriptor-ga on 30 Apr 2006 12:23 PDT
I just noticed that the links to the Mississippi, Alabama and
Tennessee maps are too long and have automatically been split up in
three parts each. I apologize for this technical problem. When you are
going to access the maps, iyou can also use these links and then to
scroll down to the respective maps with the titles I gave you. For
each map, choose the "JPEG" viewing option:

Alabama Maps: Historical Maps of Mississippi

Alabama Maps: Alabama State Road Maps

Alabama Maps: Historical Maps of Tennessee


Request for Answer Clarification by elizabethdeveer-ga on 03 May 2006 09:39 PDT
Hi Scriptor, 
Thank you so much for all the hard work!! Just wanted to let you know
- I've been swamped the last couple of days so this is the first
chance I've had to really look at this. I'm going to take the time to
really examine all this and if I have more feedback, I should have
that ready by the end of the (work) day.

Thanks so much!

Clarification of Answer by scriptor-ga on 03 May 2006 14:15 PDT
I'm glad I could help you.

elizabethdeveer-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
You're right, the maps are good but not great. That little window
thing just isn't helpful. Oklahoma's PDF was the best of all of them!
Anyway, thank you so much for your hard work.

Subject: Re: 1930's Travel routes and times
From: omnivorous-ga on 30 Apr 2006 13:09 PDT
Elizabeth --

You may find the following Google search strategy worthwhile,
particularly because of the presence of collectors and other historic
AAA triptiks historic

Best regards,

Subject: Re: 1930's Travel routes and times
From: myoarin-ga on 30 Apr 2006 13:26 PDT
Route 66, Grapes of Wrath, and all that.

Of course, Steinbeck sent his family in the other direction, but his
novel points out the possible difficulties with longer trips in those
days: vehicle reliability, road conditions, those cottage motels, just
finding one's route.
Much depends on the financial situation of the characters in your novel.

For an example of travel times:  in 1944, the drive from Mobile Ala,
to Jacksonville Fl on US highway 90 took about 9 or 10 hours with
family breaks, and one part of the road in Florida was paved with
brick, widened for constant two land traffic, with signs warning about
free ranging cattle.

Burma Shave signs started to appear in the 30s.  One of my favorites:
A boy, a girl 
a kiss, a curve 
he missed the girl 
and kissed the curve
Burma Shave

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