Mohawk-Hobbs Grade and Surface Guide – Colorado to Gulf and Dixie-Overland Routes


“Herein are given the most practical and best routes between Denver and Galveston or San Antonio, and the shortest and fastest route between Colorado and Florida.” [pg. 2]

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“The purpose of the Mohawk-Hobbs guides is to give you definite routings over the best roads; to bring points of unusual interest to your attention; to save money for you; to make your trip more enjoyable and educational; in short, a constructive effort to serve you in a way that will gain your good-will for Mohawk, and your favorable consideration for Mohawk Quality Tires.” [foreword].

In 1921, Howard Hobbs created his first innovative Hobbs Grade and Surface Guide. Issued on an annual basis until the early 1930s, the booklets were sponsored by the Mohawk Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio and covered one of America’s primary highways. At least 25 different routes were covered in tremendous detail. Each page of the guide presents a detailed diagram of the route’s elevation and surface composition, a small strip map, list of motorist’s amenities (lodging, garages, restaurants, etc.) and ‘intimate notes’ that provide a fascinating contemporary snapshot into automobile tourism of the early 20th century.

This example was published in 1927 and shows the recommended routes connecting Florida to Colorado, with detours to major cities like Atlanta, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Houston. In addition to the aforementioned information present on each page, the guide also includes a key for use, a list of published routes, insets of the area around Shreveport/New Orleans and Dallas/Fort Worth, advertisements for Mohawk rubber products, an innovative mileage diagram, and a map of the route on the back panel. Of particular interest is the description of Tuskegee, Alabama on page 25 – “The large plantations surrounding it and the fine old homes in and near town are fascinating reminders of the South of the past…Here is the world famed Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute for Negroes, largest school of its kind in the world…Drive through the fine grounds; notice the great variety of trades taught.”

More information on the Mohawk-Hobbs Guides is available at my blog post here.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1927

Author: Howard F. Hobbs

Sheet Width (in): See Description

Sheet Height (in): See Description

Condition: B

Condition Description: 28 pp. printed brochure with stapled binding and illustrated wraps. Folds over once to a size of approximately 4" x 9". Covers show moderate wear and some scattered damp staining. Contents are about good, with moderate soiling and wear consistent with age and use. Good condition overall.


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