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Author Topic: Help?  (Read 2506 times)


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« on: January 30, 2021, 12:19:34 AM »

Is there a website/link where you can see pictures of how exits were formerly signed when an interstate was first commissioned through an area?
Just a reminder that US 6, 49, 50, and 98 are superior to your fave routes :)



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Re: Help?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2021, 01:19:20 AM »

Google images.

Some newspaper sites may have historic photos that capture a few.

Overall though, exit signs aren't Kodak moments, so it generally can be quite hard to find older photos of various roadway features.


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Re: Help?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2021, 11:28:40 PM »

Back in the bad old days, everyone had film cameras. Film cost money, and so did developing it, so most people only wanted to take pictures of "important" stuff. Taking pictures from a moving car was pretty much impossible; there wasn't a screen on the camera to compose a decent shot, and the controls on the good cameras were complicated enough that trying to do it while driving was a no-go. If you wanted a decent shot, you'd probably need to pull over.

Also, there was no internet at the time, so most roadgeeks probably assumed they were the only one. So you weren't taking pictures like that to share with anyone else, you were taking them for yourself. Most people didn't bother.

All of that changed with the Internet. Lo and behold, you aren't the only person in the world into roads. You could start a website posting road sign photos from your area and then talk to people on misc.transport.road about what you'd seen.

That being said, there were a couple of guys that were doing road sign photos back then. Michael Summa is one (a lot of his stuff is on alpsroads.net), and Jim Lindsay was another (some of his are on the AARoads shield gallery). But again, film and development costs money, so they didn't do  comprehensive coverage, just signs that they thought were interesting or had a good spot to shoot from.

The earliest "comprehensive coverage" came when digital cameras found their way into the hands of roadgeeks. Now, suddenly, you can take as many pictures as you liked, and if you whiffed the shot, you knew immediately so you could come back for another try. You now had folks like Eric Stuve going around in the early 2000s taking photos of every single exit sign they passed (which is how I found the roadgeek community—Googled my exit on a lark and Eric Stuve's photo of it came up). Then, of course, not too much later Google Street View launched.

Some states (WA and KY, to my knowledge, could be others) do photologs of routes they maintain, basically a stripped-down GSV so people in the office can refer to conditions in the field without going out there to look. I have no idea when this started, but it's possible they were doing that in the film era and you could get the pictures by asking nicely.


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Re: Help?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2021, 05:46:46 PM »

Once upon a time, Virginia had a photolog similar to Kentucky's, but I don't think they have it online any longer.

Kentucky's photolog is superior to Street View because it has a "play" function. Just punch a button, select your playback speed, and enjoy the ride.

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