National Highways Map of the
United States showing One Hundred Fifty Thousand Miles of National
Highways proposed by the National Highway Association.
This map, issued in 1918 by the National Highways Association (NHA), shows the route of the United America Tour undertaken by the Hupp Motor Car Corporation, under the auspices of the American Automobile Association and the NHA, “for the purpose of pioneering a new good road that would include all capitals and major cities of the U.S.” The tour began in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1916, and was completed, after visits to the capitals of all of the then-48 states, in the same city on January 9, 1917. The total distance covered was 19,861 miles (31,963 kilometers).
The NHA was established in 1911 to promote the development of an improved national road network in the United States. Under the slogan “Good roads for everyone!” the NHA proposed a 150,000-mile (241,402-kilometer) network of roads, based on a four-fold system of national, state, county, and town or township highways and roads.
The map associates the cause of good roads with the “preparedness” campaign, which was launched early in World War I by those advocating U.S. entry to the war as an ally of Britain and France.
A note on the map indicates that the tour was made in a stock five-passenger Hupmobile, which is pictured in the lower-left corner. The Hupp Motor Car Company of Detroit was founded in 1908 by Robert Craig Hupp and his brother Louis Gorham Hupp. It was known for technical innovation and competed strongly with Ford and Chevrolet in the 1920's. Its fortunes declined in the Great Depression of the 1930's, however, and it ceased production in 1939.