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Jun 20

Promoting Interstate Highways in the 1960s

Posted to KGI Online Library Blog on June 20, 2019 at 5:38 AM by Bill Sowers

A promotional publication, issued by the State Highway Commission of Kansas in the early 1960s, on the Interstate Highway system spreading across Kansas.  

Continue Reading...

Apr 01

Kansas Road Maps at the KGI Online Library

Posted to KGI Online Library Blog on April 1, 2016 at 12:09 PM by Bill Sowers



How many times have we heard that, followed by a struggle for that coveted front passenger seat.  How cool is it to get in the car and just drive... seeing new sights... singing songs along the way?... Well, my family did the song thing.  Of course it can be helpful to have a map in the glove compartment to give you an idea of what lies around the next bend in the road too.

Imagine yourself taking a road trip across Kansas in 1918... or 1921... The map would not only be crucial in telling you where you're headed but a good road map would tell you if the road intersecting ahead was gravel, dirt or paved.... very important as there weren't as many paved roads as there are now.  The number of small towns would most likely be greater than today too, offering you the chance to stop for a drink at a general store. Road maps would have been vital in getting around for sure.

Thanks to the Kansas Historical Society the Kansas Government Information (KGI) Library now has a modest collection of digitized State Highway Commission road maps for Kansas up online.  We've had to divide each map up in sections to scan them but we believe they give a good look at the development of roads in our state.

So pack up the Roadster with victuals for a picnic along the way, hop in and take off to see the sights using your imagination, some great online graphic sites with old pictures of Kansas and an old Kansas highway map!

You can see the collection at:


The Kansas Department of Transportation has a great collection of Kansas highway maps as well.  They can be viewed here:


(These links were supplied by Lin Fredericksen of the Kansas Historical Society)

Oct 08

The Early Days of Kansas Highways

Posted to KGI Online Library Blog on October 8, 2015 at 9:53 AM by Jason Ackermann

Kansas Highways – the newsletter of the Kansas Highway Commission (1917-20, 1925-26)

Explore the world of Kansas roadways when cars (and the roads they traveled on) were young.  The newsletter of the Kansas Highway Commission is filled with pictures and articles relating to motor transportation in Kansas from a time when the state embarked on its first major efforts to build a modern, automotive transportation network .    

This highly visual newsletter contains images of construction projects and machinery, as well as maps of construction sites from the time period.

The articles help tell the story of how Kansas roads were built, how life was changing as cars and machinery were becoming common, and how some things are still very familiar today .  Article titles include:

Motor Trucks on Farms a Good Investment

Road Building Machinery to Replace Man Power

Good Roads Will Reduce Your Gas Bill

Roads in Snow Time

This publication will be of interest to both the general public and to researchers. 

View the collection at: