The First Super Highway–PA Turnpike Memorabilia

The Pennsylvania Turnpike was not the first national highway but it was the first to be considered a superhighway. The construction started in 1937 and completed in 1956–connecting the entire state from one side to the other. Of course in Pennsylvania construction never ends–the turnpike is always changing and improving with numerous enhancements over the last 60 years since it was first completed.

PA Turnpike Book

To honor this great road–Howard Johnson’s restaurants produced a book for tourists who traveled the road and stopped in their orange roofed restaurants. HoJo managed to secure the exclusive roadside locations along the Pennsylvania turnpike and others back in the 1950′s. This meant that drivers could pull into their roadside stops and enjoy a hot meal and fuel up the car without having to exit the main road. This book from the early 1950′s features a great number of drawings that depict the huge cloverleaf intersections, dramatic bridges (274 when opened) and the numerous tunnels (7 when opened).

PA Turnpike Book

The drawings featured in this book are not some computerized renderings based on actual photos but artist’s representations of photos in the classic 1950′s styles including backgrounds, fonts and landscape. Each page is almost like a postcard–subtle backgrounds, dramatic landscape / road views and a snippet of information about the scene.

PA Turnpike Book

Click on the following link for a Photo Gallery of each page (28 total) of the book in a high resolution format to experience a different time in American history when the road and driving was more of an adventure and experience.  If you want to stir your HoJo memories visit these two sites (HoJoLand and Goodbye to Howard Johnson’s)

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3 Responses to “The First Super Highway–PA Turnpike Memorabilia”

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    January 18th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

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    January 28th, 2011 at 9:07 am

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  3. Larry Fox Says:
    March 16th, 2012 at 9:23 am

    My first job was as a fountain clerk at the Howard Johnson restaurant on the PA Turnpike, Hempfield Station in August 1965. In 1980 I was the GM of the Howard Johnson ML in Secacus, NJ.