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The concrete, asphalt, and raised gravel roads we travel on today are very different from the roadways available to Iowans when the first generation of automobiles traveled the state. Roads were made for high wheeled wagons pulled by slow animals. When dry they were hard and dusty, when wet they turned into a quagmire waiting to trap an adventurous automobile.

 

Iowa lagged behind the adjacent states in paving its streets and roads. Criticisms came from Iowans and from those outside who saw Iowa’s lack of action inhibiting the nation’s progress and economic well-being.

 

"Without hesitating a moment we would be willing to swear that the mud championship of the world belongs to Iowa… it lurks in unfathomable treachery." --Emily Post, 1916.

 

 

"Today in the rich state of Iowa, not a wheel turns outside the paved streets of her cities during or…after the frequent rains. Every farm is isolated. Social intercourse ceases. School attendance is impossible. Transportation is at a standstill." --Henry Joy, 1916, President of Packard Motor Car Company.

 

 

 

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