SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Routes: 1925

Routes: 1925

        The conferees representing the highway commissions of several States, who met in this city during the present week under the auspices of the Joint Board of State and Federal Highways, reached a wise decision when they agreed to create a group of interstate roads to be known as United States highways   . . .

-- Washington Post editorial, April 25, 1925

Washington, D.C., 1925. "No caption (man with highway signs)." Early waypoints on the road to uniform route designations and the standardization of highway signs. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Phantom Roads

Those signs are test examples, you won't find US 56 or US 623 in the early route plans. US 56 was also used in early sign examples as being in Maine, not Oklahoma as seen here. The upright black-faced US 623 bears marks from the "Best Stamp Company" of Kansas City, MO - a maker of stamped metal objects like badges. The company may have been the victim of arson in 1957. Both of the US 623 variants have the US on the bottom, aping the design of the Wisconsin shield. Of historical note: The US 56 sign in his hands reads "US Route 56", text not used on the signs in the field. Also on the table is Mass US 5, which was used and is still in use today.

Get your kicks...

on Route 56. No, wait, it'll come to me...

The Man

This must be Thomas MacDonald, chief and later commissioner of the Bureau of Public Roads. Much of today's Interstate system and its standards were the result of MacDonald's work during the early part of the 20th Century.

Read in a book ("The Big Roads" by Earl Swift) he commanded such respect, even at a young age he demanded his younger siblings call him "Sir".

There is another scene from this photo shoot at the FHWA's website:

Some interesting info on "The Chief" as well.

Wikipedia entry here:

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.