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A 1955 Map for Tourists

In 1955, Esso handed out a map to help tourists find their way to Florida by turning it upside down! On this map, you are always going “up” even though you’re headed south. The legend says,

Nearly all road maps point North. But we've found that many travelers turn their maps upside when going South. It helps them to know whether to turn right or left. Naturally its hard to read anything upside down.

So Esso designed this special map for those the increasing number of drivers who go south each season. Florida-bound motorists need not turn this map upside down - it's pointed the direction they're headed. Town names, route numbers, state names are right side up, easy to read and follow. Your route South is clearly before you.

Of course, when you're heading back North you'll want our regular Esso map of Eastern United States, on which this map is based. Before you start, or along your way, pick up a copy. Put it in your glove compartment.

Now, before you laugh at people in 1955 not knowing whether to turn left or right, stop for a minute and think about how you use your GPS. That little map is oriented so that you are traveling in the “up” direction. Many online maps are rotatable for the same reason. And cartographers will tell you there is no “up,” and the way we orient most maps is just a convention, not a rule.

But besides all that, the map is interesting for other reasons. You can enlarge it at imgur to see the details. In 1955, there were no interstate highways. There was also no Disney World. And no Cape Canaveral. Our world has changed a lot since then. -via reddit


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There's an expression in Florida: the further north you go, the further South you go. And the further south you go, the further North you go. This map makes that geographically accurate.
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I remember my dad teaching me to orient the map when I was little. When I was about eight I had to navigate round France, from the back seat of our old Cortina. He'd go where I told him, too.

Later I learned to turn the map round in my head, but when learning it certainly helped to orient it.
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AAA solved this problem with the TripTik, a custom assembled series of mini-maps that would be bound together for the direction traveled.
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