20 November 2015
Want to travel from point A to B? Nowadays many of us just put the destination address in the mapping program in our cell phone, ask for directions, and we are off on our merry way!
Not so long ago, we had to pull out a map book (if you lived in a metro area) or a map (for a more rural area) and “plot” how we would get from point A to B.
The Slate did a piece on tour books published by the Automobile Club of America when it was in its infancy, The Complex Series of Symbols Early Motorists Used for Wayfinding.
If you want an up close and personal view of a route, these tour books are wonderful since they are from the perspective of driving the road. This is different than us looking at a satellite view and though something like Google’s street view option might come a bit closer, it’s still not quite the same.
The New York Public Library Digital Collection has digitized a volume (referenced in The Slate article).
You can read more about these fascinating books via The Official Automobile Blue Book, 1901–1929: Precursor to the American Road Map (PDF format)
I learned that in 1910 the club revised its symbols by eliminating and simplifying those in use.
The Internet Archives has a 1917 edition of the “Official Automobile Blue Book 1917 – Volume Two New England, Eastern Canada and Maritime Provinces” online. This volumes doesn’t use symbols like the earlier edition and it does give detailed turn by turn rout information mentioning mileage, landmarks and other details. An early version of Google Maps, Waze or whatever direction providing software/service you use.
Have you seen these books before? What is your favorite route description or symbol?
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!