Thursday, February 9, 2012

Where the white lines on our roads came from

I was researching this pair of puttees that had been hanging in my Dad's basement forever. 
Seems that they were sold by Harley Davidson for motorcycle use back in the 20's and I was hoping they might be worth something to someone, either to use, or to dress up a museum mannequin.
I came across this tidbit of information about an Oregon motorcycle cop:
In 1917, after patrolling the Columbia River Scenic Highway and witnessing the wrecks and near misses of a well-traveled two-lane highway, Deputy Peter Rexford came upon the idea of painting white stripes in the center of roads as a guide for motorists. The curves on the Columbia River Highway east of Crown Point were the very first to be painted. Chief Deputy Martin T. Pratt (later to become Sheriff) paid for the paint with his own money! By 1926, both counties and states regularly used the white lines on major roads.
Now if only he had also talked the highway dept. into adding room to pull off of the road instead of eight or ten foot ditches alongside the pavement.


  1. I would be interested in buying these if you still have them, simply as a something to add to my arsenal of style.