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Historic Route Marker

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Historic Route Marker
Smithsonian Institution


This object appears in the following sections:

On the Interstate:  I-10, 1956–1990
On the Interstate: I-10, 1956–1990 — See the U.S.A.

A stopping place on the National Road

Historic marker for the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Catalog #: 2003.0218.01, Accession #: 2003.0218
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This marker stood at the Midway Plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Physical Description

Artifact. The sign is cast metal. Decorative emblems and lettering appear on both sides of the sign and are painted yellow. The sign is designed with in insert that is bolted onto a standing pole. Dimensions: 45" W x 45 5/8" H x 3/4" D with 5 1/2" insert for sign pole.


"Pennsylvania Turnpike. This is one of the original service plazes for the nation's first long distance superhighway. On October 1, 1940, the Turnpike opened, stretching 160 miles from Carlisle to Irwin. The Turnpike Commission had been created in 1937; construction utilized the old South Pennsylvania Railroad's right-of-way and tunnels. By 1957 the Turnpike spanned 360 miles across the state and extended 110 miles north to Scranton. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. 1990"

Date Made:
Gift of Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
The Pennsylvania Turnpike opened to motorists in 1940. It was designed for high speeds and limited access, both characteristics of the future Interstate Highway System. It also showed politicans and planners that motorists would pay for superhighways.

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