Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Early TripTik

When I was young and we planned family driving vacations in the old station wagon, my parents often went to the AAA office to get maps and guidebooks and they used to get something called a "TripTik" which was a custom flip map that showed the road we planned to travel.  My parents would give our route (I-95 from DC to Maine, for example) to the person at the AAA office who would then assemble the TripTik page by page and put on a comb binding.  The maps were narrow and only showed the highway and a few features to each side but I thought they had a fun, connect-the-dots aspect to them as the road wound in various directions when you flipped the pages. 

I had always considered them an artifact of the 20th century and family vacations, so I was delighted to see this item in my queue for exhibit review: Survey of the Roads of the United States of America by Christopher Colles. This prospectus was printed in 1789 and in the same format that I remember from my family road trips.  Each page is a separate engraving, showing mileage and local features.   
This close up shows the road to Poughkeepsie, NY and includes some details, such as Wappingers Creek, that are still there today.