Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Festival of Postcards, Locomotion via the Pennsylvania Turnpike

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

The challenge reads: This Festival of Postcards is dedicated to LOCOMOTION, so this is your chance to pull out all those postcards depicting travel on land, water or air. Thanks to A Canadian Family for hosting.

As many of you know, Man’s mother died at the end of July, and we have been processing her papers and crocheted articles and so much more. As it would happen, one of the things we found deep in a box was a set of 20 postcards.  Well sorta postcards. They are not full sized post cards, and they are not meant for mailing. They are more of a set of cards that remind me of trading cards. They are about 2.5 inches by 4 inches. On the reverse side of all of them is a descriptive paragraph.

This set of 20 also has numbers on the reverse side of the card, starting with 3048, ending with 3067. All cards in numerical order are represented.

The subject, the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The cards have a linen type front surface, and from the information we learned from the descriptive data, we can estimate that the cards were published sometime between 1940 and 1950. At that time the pike was only 160 miles long. According to Wikipedia the pike is now 3 sections and is just over 530 miles in length. Again, according to Wikipedia the next section of the pike opened in February of 1950.

Our best guess is that Man’s father, who drove 18 wheeler big rigs for a few years may have brought these home to his bride, Man’s mother.

Because of the subject matter of this challenge, Locomotion and the nature of my cards, even tho, technically, not post cards, Evelyn Theriault, hostess of this challenge, thought my entry was appropriate. Thanks Evelyn. I was looking for a great way to showcase this collection.

So, lets have a look, at 4 of the 20:

Card 3066
(Don't cha just LOVE the car images?) 

On the back of the card it tells us:
"Cool, woodsy stretches abound along Pennsylvania’s Dream Highway, which taps a region richly endowed with picturesque scenery."
Card 3065
On the reverse of this card, it says:
"The Turnpike, stretching 160 miles through the Appalachian Mountains between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, the highway has been so designed as to make it virtually “foolproof” - - no bad curves, no steep grades, no cross traffic. There are seven tunnels on the Route at Laurel Hill, Allegheny, Ray’s Hill, Sideling, Tuscarora, Kittatinny and Blue Mountain."
Card 3056
And, on the reverse of this card, we learn:
"Setting the style for highways of the future Pennsylvania’s new super Turnpike is a model that will be hard to improve upon. Its steepest grade is only 3%."
And, Card 3067: 
The back of this card says:
"For one hundred and sixty miles - - not a stop sign or traffic light - - not a cross road or street - - no grade over three percent on this modern super highway which, instead of climbing over tall peaks of the Alleghenies, dives through them in seven well ventilated, well illuminated tunnels."
What really struck me was the almost pure white surface of the road presented in the graphics. Not a road bump anywhere in this presentation. I found the cards to be enchanting in a strange way, maybe it is that Rver in me!
If this has peaked your interest at all, you can see the entire set of 20 at this web page, Locomotion.  The same basic format is used, the postcard and below it, the information from the back of the card.

See ya, soon, as the song goes, On The Road ------

*Disclaimer, some of my information came from Wikipedia, remember, you must be the judge of the quality of the information found there and, for that matter, anywhere on the "net".



lindalee said...

This was a walk down memory lane for me. During the mid to late 50's we traveled that pike every summer heading to the beach at Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Pittsburgh to Stone Harbor.....3 kids, 2 adults and a dog squished into a car with no air conditioning....makes me laugh just thinking about it.

TennLady said...

Worst accidents I ever saw were on the PA turnpike.

Chuck said...

During the mid 1950's family trips to PA often used at least a few miles of the western PA Turnpike coming from Ohio. Notice that were no dividers between the east and west lanes at first. I remember one time experiencing delays due to the addition of center median guard rails. Nice memories!

Barbara Poole said...

I've also been on the turnpike, probably the entire length. Also checked out your this 'n' that to see the others. Never though reading about a highway could be an interesting read.

Karen said...

What a terrific collection - just came from viewing all 20. Everything looks so new, so fresh and clean. I agree, love the cars!

Michelle Goodrum said...

I've never been on the turnpike but what a fabulous collection!