Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Airstream's Location

A map of the US Interstate system, the home of the Airstream Clipper

      Since the Clipper is a mobile home, it's location cannot be pinpointed to any one spot. Rather, its primary location could be counted as anywhere along the highway, particularly the Interstate Highway System in the United States. 

      After President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act in 1956, plans were immediately developed to create a 41,000 mile highway system. According to Eisenhower, the highway would not only eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes and traffic congestion, but also act as a national defense system in case of an atomic attack on any major American city. He was convinced the road network would allow for a quick evacuation from target areas.  In spite of Eisenhower's justifications, however, many people believed that the development of the Interstate was motivated by automobile manufacturers who had lobbied for free roads since the beginning of cars. 

      Additionally, the invention of the Interstate significantly boosted the American economy. While industries were once limited to the boundaries of urban areas, the Interstate allowed them to expand and grow. The value of land was also increased as rural areas became accessible via the highway. Consequently, the Interstate contributed largely to urban sprawl and enabled the development of suburbs. Not everyone was pleased with the rise of the automobile and respective decline of the train. While rail unified the nation, the Interstates have nurtured what one might call 'the geography of nowhere' we're familiar with today. Most of America is homogeneously spread across a wide expanse of land, peppered with the same old strip malls, chain restaurants and big-box stores. The view is unchanged regardless of where you are on the Interstate. 

Burkhart, Bryan, and David Hunt. Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2000. Print.
"The Economic Impact of the Interstate Highway System." Interstate 50 Years. Ed. Andrew C. Lemer. N.P., 2006. Web.
      9 Dec. 2012

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