Americans have always thought big. But they've seldom thought bigger than 100 years ago, when the Lincoln Highway was envisioned as the nation's first coast-to-coast auto route.
In 1912, travel by car was an adventure at best, impossible at worst. Most of the nation's 2.5 million miles of road were just dirt — dusty and bumpy in dry weather, an impassable swamp when it rained. Only 190,476 miles had “improved” surfaces such as gravel, stone, brick or oiled earth.