The first road map of Pennsylvania was made by Christopher Colles in 1789. It was part of a U.S. road atlas that showed connecting roads between various cities. Later, in 1796, Abraham Bradley made a large map of the United States that included a more detailed overview of Pennsylvania.Continue Reading
Abraham Bradley's map became the official delivery map of the U.S. Post Office and was regularly updated. "The Traveller's Directory, or a Pocket Companion" came out in 1802. Written by T.W. Jones and S. S. Moore, it took Colles' atlas idea and improved it.
Early maps only showed major roadways, but eventually railroads and canals were included. Early 20th century maps outlined major roads, but no route numbers were listed. Drivers still depended on road names and landmarks to navigate.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in 1940 and became the first major highway in the United States, as well as the first roadway to dominate a map. Still a toll road, it is part of Pennsylvania's historic penchant for "pay as you go" roadways.
The government didn't have the resources or manpower to maintain all the roads in the state, so they allowed private parties to become involved. The first toll road was the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Road, built in 1792. By 1831, 220 companies built and maintained their own toll roads.Learn more about Maps & Cartography