Skip to main content

1950s PA Turnpike Post Card Collection

During most of its first two decades the Pennsylvania Turnpike was promoted and considered by many as "The Crown Jewel" of the American highway system.  The highway was spoken in magnificent terms and was touted as a modern example of safe, high speed, and scenic travel.  However, soon after the birth of the Interstate system in 1956, the PA Turnpike would become outdated in comparison to the more modern Interstate.  During the 1960s, the first of many changes would occur on the Turnpike to make the highway more compliant with Interstate standards.    

Today, with ongoing construction and heavy traffic, it is difficult to imagine the wonder and charm that the Turnpike had in its first 20 years.  The 1950s PA Turnpike Postcard Collection captures the original turnpike prior to the creation of the Interstate Highway System.  The 18 postcards below includes original captions found on the back of the linen cards from the early 1950s. 


The Greatest of all "Man Made Wonders" in this Twentieth Century is the Pennsylvania Turnpike, over whose surface tens of millions have traveled on business or pleasure since its opening to traffic October 1, 1940.

A beauty view of Pennsylvania's Turnpike from the mountains between Sideling Hill, the longest tunnel, a mile and a quarter and Ray's Hill, the shortest tunnel under the mountains, between McConnellsburg and Everett, Pa. Note: This segment of the Turnpike was bypassed in 1968.

One of the seven tunnels carrying the Turnpike beneath formidable mountains, six were inherited from the old rail project.  The interior view of the Allegheny tunnel, near New Baltimore and the entrance to the Tuscarora is shown.  Others at Laurel, Allegheny, Ray's Hill, Sideling Hill, Tuscarora, Kittatinny, Blue Mountain.

Last word in tunnel lighting is accomplished by soft sodium lights at the entrances and non-glaring, bluish-green mercury lights inside.

A view on the 327 mile super highway at Bedford, Pa.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is the safest of all high-speed highways.  Not only is it the safest, but the smoothest and the most beautiful.

SERVING THE TURNPIKE TOURIST - Throughout the entire length of the Turnpike, Service Stations and Restaurants are located on both east and west bound lanes of the system at convenient intervals.  Each Service Station provides a Restaraunt and Daily Bar Service and many of them have table service where hungry motorists can have a variety of delicious meals as the dining service is under the direct supervision and management of the celebrated caterer Howard Johnson.

For 327 miles - not a stop sign or traffic light - not a cross road or street - no grade over three percent on this modern super highway which, instead of climbing over tall peaks of the Alleghenies, dives through them in seven well ventilated, well illuminated tunnels.

Kittatinny and Blue Mountain Tunnels are called the "Twin Tunnels" as there is only 800 feet of daylight between them; one of the many interesting sights along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The Blue Mountain Interchange on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

There are 24 Interchanges on the PennsylvaniaTurnpike - one at each end and 22 at intermediate points.  Each has an accelerating and decelerating lane which is adjacent and in addition to the regular highway lane.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike, five miles east of Bedford, crosses over the Lincoln Highway.  The two lane road looks antiquated.  Some distance past the Bedford "interchange" the Turnpike crosses the Lincoln Highway again, runs past the ruins of the historic iron works at Everett, then crosses the Lincoln for the last time.

Setting the style for highways of the future Pennsylvania's new super Turnpike is a model that will be hard to improve upon.  Its steepest grade is only 3%.

Allegheny River Bridge: The Turnpike has no crossings at grade.  There are a total of 652 crossings of all types either above or below grades.  Three of these crossings are of major proportion.  The Bridges spanning the Susquehanna, Beaver, and Allegheny Rivers.  The World's Greatest Highway.

MIDWAY STATION.  One of the deluxe service stations on the Penna. Turnpike, midway between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pa. at Bedford Interchange.

The Turnpike winding its way through the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania along the World's Greatest Highway.

THE WORLD'S GREATEST HIGHWAY SYSTEM - The Pennsylvania Turnpike System was constructed originally to breach the barriers formed by the Appalachian Mountain range and to facilitate free rapid movement of transportation between great centers of industry and population.

Aerial view of the "Dream Highway" showing a 100 ft. high fill and the "Clear Ridge Cut."  Largest cut in the Eastern part of the U.S. and known as Little Panama.
Site Navigation:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Old River Lock & Control Structure (Lettsworth, LA)

  The Old River Control Structure (ORCS) and its connecting satellite facilities combine to form one of the most impressive flood control complexes in North America. Located along the west bank of the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Red River and Atchafalaya River nearby, this structure system was fundamentally made possible by the Flood Control Act of 1928 that was passed by the United States Congress in the aftermath of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 however a second, less obvious motivation influenced the construction here. The Mississippi River’s channel has gradually elongated and meandered in the area over the centuries, creating new oxbows and sandbars that made navigation of the river challenging and time-consuming through the steamboat era of the 1800s. This treacherous area of the river known as “Turnbull’s Bend” was where the mouth of the Red River was located that the upriver end of the bend and the Atchafalaya River, then effectively an outflow

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

The decade of the 1930s brought unprecedented growth and development to Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure as the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge cemented their place as leading urban centers on the Gulf Coast. In the immediate aftermath of the success garnered by the construction of the massive bridge on the Mississippi River near New Orleans in 1935, planning and construction commenced on the state’s second bridge over the great river. This new bridge, located on the north side of Baton Rouge, was to be similar in design and form to its downriver predecessor. Completed in 1940 as the second bridge across the Mississippi River in Louisiana and the first to be built in the Baton Rouge area, this bridge is one of two bridges on the Mississippi named for Huey P. Long, a Louisiana politician who served as the 40th Governor of the State from 1928 to 1932, then as U.S. Senator from 1932 until his death by assassination at the state capitol in Baton Rouge on September 10, 1935