Mohawk-Hobbs Grade and Surface Guide – Old Spanish Trail


Travel the Old Spanish Trail from El Paso to Jacksonville with this ingenious 1927 road guide.

1 in stock

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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 path of the Old Spanish Trail between El Paso and Jacksonville. In addition to the aforementioned information present on each page, the guide also includes key for use, street plans of New Orleans and San Antonio, a list of published routes, advertisements for Mohawk rubber products, an innovative mileage diagram, and a map of the route on the back panel. Interesting descriptions include that for El Paso (Its citizens are cordial to strangers) and Sierra Blanca (drinking water is hauled in from 50 miles away on railcars), among many others.

More information on the Mohawk-Hobbs Guides can be found 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: 24 pp. printed brochure with stapled binding and illustrated wraps. Folds over once to a size of approximately 4" x 9". A large tear on the back panel has been repaired with archival tape. Moderate wear throughout, most evident with small tears along the fore-edge from prior use. Two pages have come loose from the binding. One large tear on page 4 has archival repairs. Scattered manuscript annotations in red and graphite pencil. About good overall.


1 in stock