This Acrylic Fridge Magnet Depicts a Country Road in Iowa in 1916
Most fridge magnets at World Wide Gifts depict fascinating destinations, but this is an example of one that shows not only a time but also a place. This image captures a moment of transition in American history. In the background is an early automobile, perhaps an early Ford Model T (released in 1908). The Model T was not the first car, by far, buit it was the first affordable autombile that entered the everyday life of many Americans. It transformed the countryside. One example of this is in the push to begin paving rural roads like the one in this image. Before this, the easiest time to transport goods was in winter when snow was compressed to create a smooth surface for sleighs and sledges. After the invention of the car, the roads were increasingly plowed, not compacted, and summer became the easiest time to move goods from one point to another.
The United States is a Country Held Together By Roads
In a country as vast and relatively unpopulated as the United States, a system of roads has long been absolutely crucial for maintaining national unity, The earliest means of communication and travel was by foot or horse along trails. With time, these became more formalized in the western USA as wagon trails - even today the ruts cut into rocks by the passage of wagon wheels can be seen in some dryer western states. These trails were improved to become the dirt roads that we can see in this fridge magnet image or were covered by wooden planks (a "plank road") or by rough logs (a "courderoy road"). In cities, where sanitation and runoff became important issues, roads were paved with rounded cobblestones, cut paving stones or bricks. Even today, road crews wroking in America's older cities pull up brick roads on a regular basis. Today, the nation is connected by efficient paved highways.