Video of the Day celebrates opening of the New Jersey Turnpike

A utopian view of one of the early American toll highways

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video of the day
A scene along the New Jersey Turnpike in the 1950s

According to PeriscopeFilm, producer of the Video of the Day, after it  opened, the New Jersey Turnpike quickly became the nation’s 6th-busiest toll road and one of the most heavily traveled highways in the U.S. 

“The Turnpike has 12-foot-wide lanes, 10-foot-wide shoulders, 13 rest areas named after notable residents of New Jersey, and unusual exit signage that was considered the pinnacle of highway building in the 1950s,” the producers report. “The Interstate Highway System took some of its design guidelines by copying the Turnpike’s design guidelines. To some degree, the Turnpike is considered iconic in pop culture, having been referenced in music, film and television.

The video includes lots of 1950s’ era vehicles and the audio cuts out from time to time, but it nonetheless provides what at the time was seen as a transportation utopia.

“Drive into a new world,” we’re told, “a world without stop lights.” 


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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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