Games Learning Resources Visit the Museum
America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Washington-Richmond road, 1920

Enlarge Image
Washington-Richmond road, 1920
NMAH, Archives Center, API Collection


This object appears in the following sections:

Americans Adopt the Auto:
Americans Adopt the Auto — Better Roads

Washington to Richmond road

Washington to Richmond Road

Washington to Richmond Road
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This 1920 photograph shows the same part of the road that the 1919 photograph does. In 1920, the road had been covered with gravel, making it an “improved” road. The stretch of countryside still looks rural.
Physical Description
Date Made:
As more Americans began to drive, cars took a heavy toll on the nation's existing road network. Cars weighed more than other road vehicles, and they went faster, creating wear and tear on the nation's roads. They also, in the early days of motoring, had high-pressure tires that tore up road surfaces. As automobiles became a fact of more and more peoples' daily lives, the nation built new roads, improved old ones, and began using materials—asphalt and concrete—to surface highways so that America's automobiles could be on the road all year round.

National Museum of American History About This Site | Sponsors | Buy the Book | E-mail Signup | Credits