When you take that Motor trip

There's nothing like going on a nice vacation. And who wouldn't want to go on a nice vacation with maps like these? Well, the California one is not really a map, but a pamphlet for bus tours. Inside, there are some nice spot illustrations itemizing each tour, interspersed with your typical group of stock photos of gorgeous Californian landscapes. I'll try and get some of them scanned sometime. What great design here, though. I love the composition and how they separated it into different sections, with the "California" title section having bold, fun letterforms to entice the potential traveler.

The Cities Service US map is even more fun with the stylized, faceted shapes with interlacing bold colors. Very typical of the design of the time, the map gives off a tone that traveling is fun and that anybody could do it. Plus, a bright shiny face at Cities Service will greet you anywhere you go. The map is actually for Pennsylvania, dated 1957, so the hulking concrete veins of the Eisenhower Highway System have not yet been noted. But overall, very nice use of color on this one. Love it. UPDATE: You can now click on the US map for a closer look!

You know, I found a large Road Atlas of the United States in this small-town antique dealer booth about 2 years ago. The map was dated 1955, with the Mother Road, Route 66, fully intact in all its well-travelled glory. I've often wanted to traverse the greatest of all American roads, even though most of it is in pieces, sharing the scene with heavy-traffic superhighways, dirt roads, and dead ends. No problem, though. Some day Andrea and I will most definitely get our kicks on the great Route 66, rest assured.

And on a related note, Anne, of i like... fame posts some wonderful links on roadmaps and bygone roadside culture. If you like cool maps, join the Roadmap Art Of The Road Flickr pool. I may have to join Flickr just to be a part of this pool. Very nice stuff there.

Rummaging through my own bookmarks, I found Roadside America. Good place to start. Also, Sjef loves roadside motels. Be sure to check out all the pics he has of his visits out West. Is your map worth its weight in gold? Check out Antique Roadshow's Tips on Collecting Roadmaps, to see if collecting musty old roadmaps is your thing.

Happy Motoring!


  1. I can't stop looking at that illustration of America... it's BEAUTIFUL! Any chance we can get a closer look at it? I love to check out the details.

    Who knew maps could be so fun! Too bad I can't read them...

  2. i am loving the vintage illustrations that you post, i enjoy collecting old books and i love the illustrations from this era. however, i have never know what to do with that fun stuff other than keep it on a shelf to look at from time to time. now i am inspired to post some on my blog too....once i get my hands on a scanner!

  3. Jared -- I've now updated it, so you can click on the map to see the wonderfully mod-stylized United States in all its brilliant colorful glory! And did you notice that Mexico is nowhere to be found? Apparently, Texas has a whole heckuvalot more beachfront property than originally thought, huh?

    And yes, Meridith, please post your finds, as I love to see what others have, too. I tell ya, I've got tons more of this stuff, just collecting dust, waiting to see the light of cyber-day!

    After checking out the California Bus Tour pamphlet, I will most DEFINITELY will be scanning the inside illustrations, now. Don't know what I was thinking not getting them when I scanned the cover. Great fun little spot illustrations. I'll post them when I can. Stay tuned....

  4. it's cool to see vintage typography - great colors and illustrations too. i'm going to keep my eyes out for these maps when i'm at the flea markets.

  5. (unrelated) however, since you brought up the topic of blurking.....you probably know a bit about blog etiquette. Should one ask permission if you link to their blog or how does that work? And do you mind if I put you on my faves list?

  6. Good idea, Jan. I think I'll write something about this. I've been meaning to.

    As for linking me, go for it. I really appreciate it. It doesn't hurt me if somebody else links me without me knowing....in fact, I'll talk about this on my next post.

    Thanks, again!

  7. thanks ward - look forward to your post!