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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

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Looks and reads like a great time, Jim. So glad you were able to do the trip!

 

 

 

 

Cort | 39.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 2 MCs + '79 & '89 Caprice Classics
CHD.cars + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort
"Money talks" __ Neil Diamond __ 'Forever In Blue Jeans'

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Jim,

 

I looked this morning at your three latest blog entries regarding your route 66 trip, and they were a delightful and entertaining mix of popular culture and historical description....not to mention a large dose of road boffin! I have a couple of comments....of course!

 

Is there more story to “turkey tracks.” The photos suggest distinct foot tracks. How come? Small, distinct irregularities in concrete get smoothed into indistinct depressions rather quickly by traffic. Right? The tracks in the photo look fresh, not worn.

 

As for the:

 

“The 1910's and 1920's were a highly experimental time for those who built highways. It wasn’t even entirely clear yet whether the automobile was just a passing fad! “

 

The first sentence is almost an understatement, but entirely true. But as for the second sentence, not so much so. :)

 

I know you were exercising a writer's license but I doubt either of us believe that automobiles were actually considered a “passing fad” anytime in the 1920's. A newbie who follows your blog may consider that as expert opinion from a road hero.

 

I submit that at least by 1915-16 the automobile had been fully recognized as here to stay, and was seen as a growing and permanent feature of American life. Highway construction methods were still much in flux. Arguments over wood, brick, macadam, concrete, etc and construction methods were still very aggressively pursued. But automobiles were a certain fixture of the time.

 

I submit for your consideration that it was cost that drove a jurisdiction to lay a one lane concrete strip, and not the thought that we might one day return to horse drawn conveyance.

 

Anyway, I recognize my comments to be nit picking (I obviously have too much time on my hands today!) and highly recommend your blog for anyone interested in Route 66, or the history and delights of the two lane road!

 

Dave

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Dave,

 

Thanks for shedding some light. As much as I love the automobile -- and have all of my life -- clearly I need to spend some time studying up on its impact on society after its introduction. I would have thought that the automobile would have been thought of as here to stay by the 1920s, not the 1910s. I do at times make statements based on my impressions ... this time, it didn't work out so well!

 

Thanks,

-Jim

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The turkey tracks are one of my favorite Route 66 stops. They've been there since the original concrete was poured. The reason they are pointed out, however, is because of one understandably proud (and lucky) fellow.

http://route66news.com/2010/07/14/making-tracks/

 

It's a testiment to the cement, is it not?

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Jim,

 

The introduction of the Model T is considered by some as the watershed, when automobiles stepped out of the recreation era and entered the utility era. It was introduced in 1908, and by 1915 Ford alone was producing over half a million automobiles a year. Automobile registration according to the 1917 Good Road Year Book reached 2.44 million by 1915.

 

We were still a very long way from a car in every garage, and horse power still had a whinny. WWI slowed production for domestic use, but by 1919 Ford topped 800,000 and total US production was over 1.2 million vehicles.

 

My grandfather bought a new Ford in 1918 and believe me, he was a homestead farmer, and no early adopter. The kid in the knee britches and tie is my Dad, and the guy wearing the hat behind the wheel is Grandfather. The rest of the family is standing, and neighbors are in the back seat.

 

Dave

 

PS If you click on the photo and take a squint at my ancestors, it is easy to see where I got my good looks and urbane demeanor!

 

AR1918Ford.jpg

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Maybe the 1926 routing into which the turkey left his tracks was bypassed after a short time by the current alignment. That would lead to way fewer cars and less of an effect of smoothing out the marks.

 

What a photo, Dave! Must have been Sunday.

 

And I had no idea there were nearly 2.5 million cars on the road by 1915.

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As recently as 2005, the turkey tracks were unmarked and required really good instructions, a local guide, or a lot of walking to find. By the fall of 2006, someone had splashed some white paint on the area and the sign a painted border were in place by 2009. Calling this good or bad is an individual choice.

 

There are still unmarked tracks of a similar age on an older route. Proving that humans are not always smarter than turkeys, some bright fellow walked across the recently created and more recently paved US-30 in Ogden, Iowa, in 1929. At the time, the US-30 designation was so new that I'm guessing many Ogdenites were still calling the road the Lincoln Highway.

 

Ogden Footprints

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Ooh, I'm digging the Standard station more than the footprints! I personally am glad that the 66 turkey tracks are marked.

 

This week's crop of posts from the Route:

 

http://blog.jimgrey.net/2013/04/22/great-bridges-o-route-66/

http://blog.jimgrey.net/2013/04/24/a-kodak-brownie-hawkeye-and-expired-film-on-the-mother-road/

http://blog.jimgrey.net/2013/04/26/johns-modern-cabins/

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Jim,

 

The Route 66 bridges were great, but the new photos on the old film with the Hawkeye stopped me dead in my tracks. Seriously!! How cool is that! And the quality isn't bad...soft with some evident grain, but overall very nice.. Of course it was a big negative. Were the images you posted scanned from the negatives or the prints?

 

I am kind of struck with the whole retro images thing. Both you and Eric have an interest in it. I think it is great....taking road images with film and equipment in use 40 years or more ago.

 

As you know, as a septuagenarian I have a license to tell stories of the "old times", and I was amused when you called ASA (or now ISO) 125 kind of slow. My recollections and film use go back to when Kodachrome was ASA10! And I shot lots of it at ASA 25, and considered ASA 64 a fast film.

 

Kodak did a better than great job of marketing. They “owned” the film business and convinced just about everyone that taking pictures on your road trips (and back then it was road, not air) was as important as eating. I traveled in my 20's with an 8mm movie camera, a twin lens reflex for B&W film, a Polariod camera for family shots and album photos, and my Yashika rangefinder for 35mm color slides. Later I upgraded the Yashika to a Nikon F. I kept a small chest for my film on the back seat.

 

And film and processing was a significant cost for any road trip. I even resorted to “rolling” my own. I think I considered 35mm slides to be about 20 cents a shot including processing, and that would be at least $1 per photo today in today's dollar!!!

 

The other day I bought a $69 digital to keep in the glove box for grab shots, and it does everything those four cameras did, and much much better, with no film cost!

 

I'm enjoying your Route 66 posts and I hope everyone is following them.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Jim,

 

Your comment about John's Modern Cabins condition is perfect. You hate to see them collapse, but you would hate to see them restored. As you said so well, there is a real charm about their dilapidation....and I would add my typical note....they are authentic.

 

Of course the old sign is terrific. A really great site.

 

I'm enjoying the ride!

 

Dave

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Dave, in honor of you adding a photo so we can all put a face with your name, I've updated my photo.

 

I am so glad you really enjoyed my expired-film post. And I would be disappointed if, given that you are septuagenarian, you did not tell stories. I believe that when you reach 70, the government should give you a certificate entitling you to tell stories to all passersby, granting all the rights and privileges attendant thereunto. Anyway. I've considered the cost of film photography on my blog before, and I believe that it has never been less expensive (relative to inflation) than now.

 

http://blog.jimgrey.net/2013/03/11/film-photography-has-never-been-less-expensive/

 

Unfortunately, since I wrote that post, the CVS near my house took out its one-hour color lab. Goodbye, dirt cheap and super fast processing. I will miss you.

 

Anyway, yes, by 195x standards ASA 125 was screaming fast. Fortunately, Verichrome Pan was famous for extremely wide latitude -- in other words, you could get the exposure quite wrong and VP would still return a decent image. Films like Kodachrome had very narrow latitude -- you'd better get exposure just right or your image would be ruined. This is why VP was arguably the most popular b/w film in the world for 40 years -- you could jam it into any kind of camera and you'd get snapshots worthy of the family album.

 

This is why I expected that I'd get overexposed shots from the Brownie Hawkeye when I shot the Kodak Gold 200 -- it's way too fast for the camera and its exposure latitude, while certainly wider than any slide film, is assuredly narrower than good old VP.

 

Kodak appears to be getting out of the slide film business. I keep meaning to buy some E100G (a version of Ektachrome) to put in the fridge for my old cameras. But I keep shooting Fujicolor 200 negative film because it's so darned inexpensive and I can get it at Meijer (kind of a slightly upscale Wal-Mart we have here in the Midwest). When I was a boy, I eyed non-Kodak films suspiciously. Today, I embrace them -- not only because the Fuji films are generally very good, but because they are often more available than the corresponding Kodak films.

 

Dig these crazy awesome colors I get from E100G -- it's a shame it's out of production.

 

 

7524449666_c2a0ec7c12.jpg
Fence by mobilene, on Flickr
7524450510_7d63e745be.jpg
Karmann-Ghia by mobilene, on Flickr
Your camera stash of yore sounds perfect, especially the TLR and the Yashica rangefinder. I have a very soft spot in my heart for old rangefinders; they form the core of my collection. I must admit, though, that for everyday film shooting I use a K-mount Pentax SLR. You can't go wrong with old Pentax glass.
Oh my, I see that I've hijacked my old thread. So I will circle back and say that as I wrote about John's Modern Cabins, you came to mind as I wrote about how the cabins are just right in their current dilapidated condition. It's too bad we can't freeze them in this moment.

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As recently as 2005, the turkey tracks were unmarked and required really good instructions, a local guide, or a lot of walking to find. By the fall of 2006, someone had splashed some white paint on the area and the sign a painted border were in place by 2009.

 

Yes, I can verify they were in place by 2009. I was told that they had JUST been recently installed by the time I began my Route 66 trip, September 2009.

 

3 pics I took that year:

https://picasaweb.google.com/knightfan26917/RT66TRIPDAY2#5427160261956042674

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/knightfan26917/RT66TRIPDAY2#5427160265514564290

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/knightfan26917/RT66TRIPDAY2#5427160265863868322

 

 

 

Jim,

 

Sure enjoy your posts & pics. Seeing & reading them bring back so many cool memories of my own trips. Thank you for sharing.

 

 

 

 

Cort | 39.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 2 MCs + '79 & '89 Caprice Classics
CHD.cars + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort
"Did the trail of yellow brick come to an end?" __ Debby Boone __ 'Are You On The Road To Lovin' Me Again?'

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