Today in History, April 15, 1924:

Rand-McNally publishes the 1st Edition of The Rand-McNally Road Chum, the precursor to the Road Atlas they made popular.

William Rand and Andrew McNally had been in the publishing business since the 1860’s, and had been publishing regional maps for railroads and oil companies.

They initiated a numbering system for their highway maps and even put up road signs for their traveling customers. The system would be adopted by federal and state governments and is in use today.

Their first Atlas editions were provided for free in Gulf gas stations.

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