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Official Map of the Highway System of Texas

R.M. Stene, Official Map of the Highway System of Texas, Austin: State Highway Commission, 1936, Map #83598 and Map #83599 [verso], Map Collection, Archives and Records Program, Texas General Land Office, Austin, TX.
In 1936, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin were connected by a series of highways prior to the construction of the Interstate Highway System twenty years later. Small red numbers, such as the “78” between San Antonio and Austin, indicate the distance between two red triangular points on the highway, while small black numbers, such as the “18” between New Braunfels and San Marcos, indicate the distance between towns.
The legend describes the various types of highways and markings on the map, while also making a point to travelers regarding the Texas Highway System’s lack of toll bridges. This map was issued for free by the State Highway Commission.
A photograph of the Alamo is one of several images found in the margins of the highway map, which was intended both to decorate the map and entice tourists to visit.
[left] On the verso, a collage displays images of historic sites in Texas, including Houston’s camp at San Jacinto. [right] The collage also includes Missions Espada, Concepción, and La Bahía, as well as the ruins of Baylor College.
The six flags of Texas preside over the sheet lyrics and music to the song “Texas Over All,” written by Gibb Gilchrist, a former state highway engineer who became president of Texas A&M University in 1937, the year after this map was published.
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