A post about North Carolina’s official State highway maps sounded interesting. Turns out, someone has already done it for us. Well, maybe not specifically for us, but it’s been done. In the past, a link was placed here to the NCDOT web site that briefly discussed the history of NC state highway maps. However, since that link is now dead, and I don’t trust the current URL to persist, I’ve copied the information and pasted it at the bottom of this post.
Many of North Carolina’s official state highway maps have been scanned as part of the North Carolina Maps digitization project. Nicholas Graham, Program Coordinator of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, has provided a wonderful link to high resolution images of the North Carolina highway maps available for viewing.
The following is copied directly from https://www.ncdot.gov/travel-maps/maps/Pages/state-transportation-map.aspx
History of the State Transportation Map
In addition to the State Transportation Map’s detail and the number of roads on it, there have been quite a few changes to the map since it was first printed in 1916.
In 1923, for example, the N.C. Department of Transportation added a mileage chart for travelers to estimate the distance between major cities. Seven years later, NCDOT printed illustrations instructing motorists how to properly use hand signals when turning left and right and for stopping.
The first color map was printed in 1936 and featured a 40-inch hand-drawn panorama of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was under construction at the time.
For three decades, beginning in the 1940s, NCDOT printed two versions – a black-and-white map that featured regulatory information for commercial vehicles and a color map that highlighted points of interest for tourists.
Links to some of the State Transportation Maps from over the years (available in PDF format) are below.
- 1930 North Carolina State Highway Map (2.3 MB)
- 1940 North Carolina Highways (16.3 MB)
- 1951 North Carolina Official Highway Map (3.8 MB
- 1960 North Carolina Official Highway Map (14 MB)
- 1970 North Carolina Official Highway Map (13.8 MB)
- 1979-80 North Carolina Transportation Map & Guide to Points of Interest (14.9 MB)
- 1990-1991 North Carolina Transportation Map (18.1 MB)