Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Might Have Been

I am an e-bay addict. I enjoy perusing the various listings for old road signs. I rarely buy anything, but if I do it's usually an old map. I did, however, buy an old yellow/black STOP sign a few years back (one with the old square-style sign font).

The other day I was looking around and found what was described as an older Interstate sign. But it looked nothing like I had ever seen before.

After asking a few people on misc.transport.road, I figured out it was an old prototype sign from the 1950's. When the Interstates were first being constructed, a contest was held amongst the states to design a shield for the fledgling highway system. In all there were something like 100 entries. The winning design was a combination of Texas and Missouri.

Well, the shield was designed by Texas, so Missouri must have had the “right” color scheme. There are actually a couple websites with pictures of some of the other rejected designs.

This comes from Idaho... I'm guessing that's a eagle?

The state isn't identified on this one, but a couple people have commented it looks like a Civil Defense sign.

This just in: H.I. Goldman reports on Roadgeek that it is an modified Civil Defense Logo 'The three-point triangle also represented a connection with Canada and Mexico "in a mutual bond of friendship and defense."' This shield was designed by Minnesota.

This seems simple enough, but it reminds me of the old Illinois Tollway logo.

So, I guess we should be happy with what we have: simple yet stylish, though a bit 60's

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