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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Washington-Richmond road, 1947

Enlarge Image
Washington-Richmond road, 1947
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
By the late 1940s, the Washington to Richmond road had been paved with an all weather surface. Trees and buildings—many of them surburban style housing—line the side of the street. This image seems to have been taken from the same position as the 1919 and 1920 photographs, but it is not definitively the same stretch of road.
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.

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