xoxoxoBruce Friday Jun 13 03:32 AM
June 13th, 2014: Panora Speedway
When I saw this picture on the web, I did a once over thinking this is an old ad for one of the thousands of racetracks
that dotted this country in the early 20th century.
Dirt tracks, then board tracks, for horses which gave way to bicycles, then motorcycles, finally cars.
I did notice the, "The Speedway Where You Can Speed", which cracked me up, thinking, I should hope so.
I was curious about the year so I googled Panora Speedway.
The first link I got was Amazon? They're selling reprints of the old ad?? Then the full title began to register,
"Huebinger's Map and Guide for Panora Speedway".
Wow this must be a big complex, maybe lakes, picnic areas, multiple parking areas, maybe barns.
The next link I hit was the Iowa Heritage Digital Collections and they had a scan of the complete booklet.
This is when the light comes on and I feel like a smacked ass.
The Panora Speedway is not a racetrack, it's a highway.
Perusing the 36 page booklet, it has a ton of ads for car stuff like sparkplugs and tires, and ads for services along the way.
Maps of each town plus a general map.
Then it gets into the Speedway...
He then got into a couple page description of how Panora got this done, and all the people who used their suck with the politicians to make this happen, and were rewarded by being made officers in the organization. At the end he remembers to mention the road continues another 8 miles from Panora to Guthrie Center.
Leaving the City of Des Moines, the motorist has 5 miles of brick paving along Beaver Road; 11 miles out he can linger at the Hyperion Club, the beautiful home of des Moines’ best known and most popular field and motor organization, then a straight shoot west 36 miles without a jog or turn, and for the most part well graveled, into the hospitable and enterprising town of Panora, for which the speedway was named, and where the movement that culminated in the organization of one of the best road organizations in the state, had it’s inception.
Presumably well graveled, for the most part.
There is also three pages entitled, “The Use of the King Road Drag”. The road drag, built by Mr King over in MO, is sort of a road scraper/grader, made from squared logs and steel plates, pulled by horses. They go into considerable detail on wet and dry grooming methods for gravel roads, even publishing the instructions issued by the Illinois Highway Department for road draggers.
Now after all that, I did discover the year...1912.
glatt Friday Jun 13 08:36 AM
It's state route 44 today. also known as 240th St.
And it looks like this.
blueboy56 Friday Jun 13 11:37 AM
Thanks for the display. I really enjoy old posters, ads and maps and how they compare once the accretion of time and population has taken place.
xoxoxoBruce Friday Jun 13 11:47 AM
Thanks, I do too. They rarely mislead me like this one did, though.
OK, to be fair I mislead myself, but changes in language, in word usage, can completely change a sentence. Look how many ads and slogans used the word "gay". Reading them today has a different message to the average reader.
mrputter Monday Jun 16 05:02 PM
There are so many details to love about the maps in this book.
From the “old unpainted shack” (p.22) to the “tank on wheel” (p.23). But I think my favourite has to be the arrowhead on p.25, about halfway between Grimes and the Hyperion Club, alerting motorists to “stumps in road.”
For the most part, indeed!
xoxoxoBruce Monday Jun 16 11:35 PM
I read somewhere along the line, the guy speaking for the-greatest-in-the-state-Panora-Road-Organization, saying they had the cooperation of many of the farmers along the route. Since I don't think they had a highway department yet, I wonder if Mr King's Road Drags were handed out to a few farmers in return for maintaining a section. Like adopt-a-highway litter patrols. If so, I bet they had nice driveways.
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