Signs of the Times - July 2013 - (Page 64)

A CENTURY OF GOING PLACES Signs have played a large role in the Lincoln Highway’s 100-year legacy. By Steve Aust Consider the worldalmost boundin 1913. It stood on the edge of less progress and discovery. Henry Ford’s Model T, generally regarded as the first car affordable for the masses, had only been manufactured since 1908, and peak production was still a few years away. Ford also introduced a moving assembly line that year. Also in 1913, Hudson introduced the first sedan-style vehicle at the NYC Auto Show. A few of the year’s other highlights: • Prizes were first provided inside boxes of Cracker Jack; • Ratification of the 16th Amendment enabled the government to collect income tax; • Harry Brearley invented stainless steel; • Traffic in Souls, with a gross of $430,000, was the year’s topearning movie (mass-release movies with sound were still more than a decade away) • Babe Ruth was a high-school phenom pitching for St. Mary’s Industrial High School in Baltimore; • Mary Phelps Jacob earned a patent for the first elastic bra (women everywhere presumably rejoiced); • The crossword puzzle debuted in the New York World. Yet, for all the 20th Century’s legacy of marvels, perhaps the most significant (or, at least the most fascinating) revolve around America’s love affair with the car. However, arguably, 1913’s most significant milestone for development of U.S. coast-to-cast travel, the creation of the Lincoln Highway, has been unfortunately forgotten by many. On July 1 that year, Indiana entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher – his company produced headlights installed in most early-generation cars, and he was a driving force behind the construction of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – spearheaded creation of The Lincoln Highway Assn. (LHA), to, according to Wikipedia, “procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all descrip- 64 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / JULY 2013 / tion without toll charges.” The first section was completed in New Jersey in 1913, and, gradually, westward expansion occurred as association officials cobbled together a route between existing, paved roads and newly constructed ones. Fisher and his investors initially developed the Lincoln Highway entirely from private funds (the federal government later assumed the roads’ upkeep and expansion). It spanned 3,389 miles from New York City’s Times Square to San Francisco’s Lincoln Park. The Lincoln Highway was the centerpiece of the Good Roads movement, which, from the 1880s to the 1920s, helped pave roads outside of urban areas nationwide. Originally, the Lincoln Highway traversed 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California. The “Colorado Loop” was closed two years later, and a realignment brought the highway through West Virginia in 1928.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - July 2013

Signs of the Times - July 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review
Technology Review
Design Matters
New Products
Vehicle Graphics Contest Entry Form
Public Displays of Affection
Electric-Sign Company 1 on 1’s
Screenprinting for Signmakers
A Century of Going Places
Industry News
Advertising index
Editorially speaking

Signs of the Times - July 2013