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Lincoln Highway Marker
Catalog #: 329,787, Accession #: 283,523
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This is one of thousands of markers placed along the route of the Lincoln Highway on September 1, 1928 by the Lincoln Highway Association. Boy Scout troops across the country helped put the markers up. This example was placed by the side of a stretch of the highway in Wyoming.
Physical Description
artifact. Seven feet long concrete marker, octagonally shaped base with square head at top, with red, white and blue Lincoln Highway label, and bronze medallion showing a profile of the head of President Abraham Lincoln. One side of the square has an arrow painted on it. The marker appears to have been buried two feet into the ground.
Date Made:
Institute of Traffic Engineers

Some Americans wanted to build new roads in the 1900s and 1910s as a response to the rising numbers of cars and trucks in the country. Some of the new roads, such as the Lincoln Highway, were the result of private initiatives. The Lincoln Highway Association, created in 1913 and largely supported by donations from car-related businesses, promoted the building of a paved highway from New York to California. The association marked out a route and funded sample stretches of pavement ("seedling miles") to encourage local governments to build the rest. Road building really took off in the 1920s, however, as federal law and government money encouraged and paid for much of the country's road building.

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