The Mystique Of The American Road. At The Harley-Davidson Museum.

ar1The Harley-Davison Museum has started a new exhibit “The American Road” which looks at how the road trip became an American ritual. It started in the 1930’s when leisure travel and the open road offered an escape for a small but growing number of affluent Americans. After WWII, in the 50’s and 60’s the road became the template for family vacation. It’s when motels and diners with large signs and gimmicks began appearing on the side of the road. “The American Road is something everyone can relate to,” said Harley-Davidson Museum Manager of Exhibits and Curatorial Kristen Jones.

ar2The Golden Age of the road trip ended with the gas crisis of the early ‘70s, but the ritual remains a fundamental American experience, evidenced by its place in pop culture as well as the curiosity it sparks globally as motorists and motorcyclists retrace historic routes. The exhibit also looks into the modern era of road trips. “We have three motorcycles on display from a trip that was taken last year, these guys sought out the old Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental route that you could actually take on a continuous road” said Jones. “The American Road” just opened last weekend at the Harley-Davidson Museum an runs through September 1st.

8 Responses to “The Mystique Of The American Road. At The Harley-Davidson Museum.”

  1. 1 Donnie Respery Jun 24th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I visited the HD museum 1 month ago. The place and exhibits are much better than what I expected.

  2. 2 James just another Crazy Kiwi Jun 24th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    People travel from all over the world to ride those roads

  3. 3 nicker Jun 24th, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    “…. The American Road…”

    There are many.
    Pick one and make it yours.


  4. 4 nicker Jun 24th, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Oh, But the quest for “The Road” isn’t new.

    It goes back to the Depression.

    For those who think they’re tough,
    size yourselves up against this:


  5. 5 Stacey Jun 25th, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Great exhibit!!!

  6. 6 Mark Jun 25th, 2014 at 6:24 am

    This should be an excellent exhibit to see at the already fine HD Museum. But I’d say Lincoln Highway is the second planned continuous transcontinental highway. US Route 40 also known as the National Road eventually ran east to west and was chartered in 1806 by Congress. It was designed as a freight hauling road, like our interstates seem to have become, and the intended traffic was Conestoga wagons, the 18 wheelers of the 19th Century. Over time its surface was upgraded to asphalt and concrete. In the east, all the way through Ohio it parallels Interstate 70. In some places you can check out great stone bridges and toll houses that remain from its origin, well ahead of the Lincoln Highway. Cannonball Baker rode parts of it in 1914 on his transcontinental record run.

  7. 7 Scott Jun 25th, 2014 at 6:37 am

    I’ve rode the Lincoln Highway, a stretch of it still runs just south Three Oaks MI to Laporte IN, beautiful area. Had no idea it ran the continent at one point.

  8. 8 Jusmecuz Jun 25th, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Saw that yesterday on Modern Marvels. I think it was called, Paving America. It was an interesting program though, esp the part about the Lincoln Highway.

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Cyril Huze