Pictorial map of the American continent

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This is a map that was produced by Standard Oil of New Jersey – ESSO, I guess it later became – and it depicts the Pan-American Highway[1], which runs from the very top of the North American continent all the way down to, uh, the bottom. Along the way, Standard Oil and the mapmaker include all manner of illustrations, each one of which has a beguiling nature to it, suggesting that travelling along the Pan-American Highway would be a wonderful and entertaining thing to do. It was a day, of course, when the great oil companies and recently organizations like Exxon and Sunoco would all publish maps of various subjects, frequently state-by-state and offer them free-of-sale to motorists who just came by to fill their gas tank. The oil companies have largely discontinued that practice in the face of modern technology and GPS systems, and it’s probably not cost effective to do it anymore. But this map reflects kind of a romantic notion that all of the Americas were now available to the motorist and it was time to get in the car and go see North and South America.

[1] “The Pan-American Highway is a network of roads stretching across the American continents and measuring about 30,000 kilometres (19,000 mi) in total length. Except for a rainforest break of approximately 106 km (70 mi) across the border between southeast Panama and northwest Colombia, called the Darién Gap, the roads link almost all of the Pacific coastal countries of the Americas in a connected highway system.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-American_Highway Accessed 11 Mar. 2021.


Low resolution previews (front and back) for in-copyright image.


Title: Pictorial map of the American continent : featuring the Pan American Highway and showing some of the natural resources, scenic wonders, and points of interest

Contributor: General Drafting Company, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey

Call Number: SMITH IV-10

For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1935581