Heritage, Summer 2003 Page: 16
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
The map named and discussed below is pictured on page 13 and on the cover of this magazine. Map features are
on this page and opposite.
"Official Map of the Highway System of Texas," compiled and drawn by R.M. Stene. Published in Austin by the State Highway
Commission, 1936. Above: A pull-out of a song of Texas that was featured on that map.
Highway maps emerged with the development of the automobile in the early 20th century. The first automobile-oriented
road map was produced in 1904, before the first Model-T rolled off the production lines or concrete roadways became common.
The Federal Aid Road Act in 1916 and the establishment of United States highway routes in 1925 solidified the "car
culture," and maps were produced to facilitate this defining element in American society. This particular 1936 Texas map
was mass-produced under the direction of the State Highway Commission to celebrate the centennial of the founding of the
Republic of Texas and to promote the state.
In addition to the standard legend designating scale, mileage, location of state parks, and types of highways, the map includes
several other elements. There are a number of scenic black and white photographs from around the state (page 17), a history
panel describing "Texas Under Six Flags," (page 17) and a song of Texas written by the state highways engineer Gibb Gilchrist.
There are few physical features shown on the map with the exception of the bays along the coast and rivers throughout the
state. The majority of roadways depicted are U.S. highways, especially in sparsely settled northwest and west Texas.
In 1936, the state boasted more than 15 state park sites with most located in the central corridor and the largest of the
parks in Big Bend. The map also shows the out-of-state destination of U.S. highways departing Texas. It is interesting to note
that while the State Highway Commission claimed there were "no toll bridges on the state highway system," all border crossing
across the Rio Grande into Mexico included toll bridges. The most unusual map feature is the sheet music of a song titled
"Texas Over All," printed in the lower right hand corner. Clearly, this map is essentially a promotional tool encouraging travel
and tourism in Texas.
Katherine R. Goodwin is cartographic archivist, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries
HERITAGE f SUMMER 2003
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Summer 2003, periodical, Summer 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45377/m1/16/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.