Cover image for The American highway : the history and culture of roads in the United States
The American highway : the history and culture of roads in the United States
Kaszynski, William, 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2000]

Physical Description:
vii, 229 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HE355 .K33 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
HE355 .K33 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



When the automobile first made long-distance travel practical for the average American, a dramatic change began in the country's physical and cultural landscape. Road design and construction were challenged to keep pace with the automobile's rapidly advancing capabilities and number. And as real mobility sank into the popular consciousness, the way of life of Americans changed forever.This spectacularly illustrated history traces the transformation of America's roads from rutted wagon trails into ever smoother, faster and safer highways. Along with the sweat and ingenuity of increasingly ambitious construction, it explores the new roadside culture that sprang up to greet a society on the move. Places to eat, sleep, refuel, and see sights became as much a part of the highway travel experience as the road itself, and the histories of the most familiar roadside businesses are recounted here. More than 300 historical photographs provide fascinating documentation.

Author Notes

William Kaszynski practices law in St. Paul, Minnesota

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

A St. Paul lawyer, Kaszynski tracks a story of the persistent demands by individuals to travel, the pressure for roads by automobile manufacturers, the need for roadside servicesDand more. Leaving no pothole unfilled, his pages flourish with descriptions and illustrations of highway systems, gasoline stations, auto camps, roadside eateries, and tourist advertising, enhanced by insight into their cultural and economic contribution to our society. Finally, he predicts that the past will repeat itself. The insatiable desire of Americans to express their individual freedom behind the wheel of an automobile will manifest itself by yet further transformation of our highway systems. Accurate, clearly and quietly written, and illustrated with over 300 photographs, this book offers readers an enlightening, entertaining, and educational drive on America's roads. Recommended for all libraries.DJohn E. Hodgkins, Yarmouth, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
Table of Illustrationsp. 3
A Brief History of Roadsp. 9
The Early Days (1900-1919)p. 24
The First Generation (1920-1945)p. 55
The Golden Age (1946-1969)p. 137
The Interstate Era (1970-2000)p. 190
The Futurep. 206
Notesp. 219
Indexp. 223