This Is What Road Trips Looked Like In 1948

We're so spoiled today, aren't we? If we want to drive across the country, we just hop in our comfortable, air conditioned, computerized cars, get on the highway, and go. It wasn't always that simple.

America's highway system, as we know it, didn't really get started until the late 1950s. Before that, long car trips were slogs in delightfully primitive cars and not-so-delightfully primitive roads.


If you weren't around for those days, you can see for yourself what it was like over at They've put up this great gallery of photos from a 1948 road trip across the legendary Route 30 that have never been published before.

In the summer of 1948, LIFE photographer Allan Grant set out on a trip from Omaha, Neb., toward Salt Lake City, Utah, traveling west through Nebraska and Wyoming along one of the most storied stretches in America: Route 30, part of the early transcontinental Lincoln Highway.

For reasons lost to time, none of Grant's marvelous photos from that epic post-war road trip were ever published in LIFE. Here, as summer approaches and the urge to hit the highways — and the byways, and the back roads — begins to take hold, LIFE offers a whole series of Grant's pictures from Nebraska and Wyoming made seven long decades ago, in tribute to the innate human desire to get up and go.

Click here to check out the gallery. Do you have any family photos from the old days of road tripping?

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