Before I-95 became America's primary North-South highway along the Atlantic, many drivers relied on Route 1 to get from city to city between Key West, Florida, and Fort Kent, Maine.
Completed in the 1920s, Route 1 (and many other pre-WW II roads) lost relevance three decades later, when the federal government began building its vast interstate network.
Long before, photographer Jack Delano took to the road. In June 1940, he shot along the Maryland and Washington, D.C., portion, capturing a snapshot of what life was like back then. His results are in turn charming (ice cream stands with polar bear sculptures) and shameful (truckers sleeping under their vehicles because of discriminating service stations).
Courtesy the Library of Congress's Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information photography collection, here's a look at what Delano discovered:
The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.