Follow that Red Line: The First Published Road Atlas of Nebraska

Authors: John Bauer*, University of Nebraska Kearney
Topics: Cartography, Historical Geography
Keywords: historical geography, history of cartography, atlas, Nebraska, Great Plains
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This research examines the first atlas of Nebraska devoted to automobile navigation and transportation. Published in 1913 by the Road Book Department of the Nebraska State Automobile Association, the “Official Road Book of the Nebraska State Automobile Association” contains 96 maps of the counties and cities of the state interspersed within its 223 pages. The Association supported the publication by selling over one hundred advertisements for hotels, garages, automobile dealers and manufacturers, automobile supply companies, land companies, and even breweries. In this research, I compare the atlas’ maps to other forms of automobile road mapping of the era. I also review the history of the Nebraska State Automobile Association and situate it and the atlas within the larger history of the state.

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