Alps' Roads - My Signs - Route shields

My Route Shields

The first route shield to enter my collection was this Colorado specimen. The US 160 cutout shield was the most recent addition.

Speaking of cutouts, Georgia has one.

My three county route shields, first two from Iowa and last from Texas. The second "shield" is from Newton County. The last shield may look newer, but it was phased out in the early 1990's due to the small numeral size of only 6 inches.

A pair of Kansas signs, both likely dating to the 1960's. The Kansas sunflower is 18"x18" and the petals point straight out instead of alternating straight and bent, so it may date to the 1950's.

A 1950s Kentucky specimen.

North of the border: New Brunswick, Manitoba, Ontario (okay, so these are obvious). The Manitoba shield is one of three designs still up in the province but no longer the current one. The Ontario sign uses an older font that has been out of style for awhile.

Speaking of Manitoba, and while we're in Canada, you'll see this shield in every province with a different name and perhaps a different number. Oh, and different fonts, and now shields are starting to drop the province name altogether out of either laziness or continued cheapening of classic standards.

Two from Québec, first in today's style (but 1970's old) and the second in the earliest style, much smaller than other shields (12" x 18"), wooden, and never mounted in the field. It also shows off Québec's original route numbering system, and when I turn it over, on the back is written "PQ-13", thus demonstrating Québec's old postal code.

Starting with Louisiana and into the M states for Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan and Montana. The Maine and Michigan shields are the oldest of the group.

I've taken out a special caption for the M state of Minnesota, because it has two entries on the page. The 2 shield is the original design, a yellow star that you'd expect to see in Texas, and predates 1934 when US 2 became the only bearer of the number. The 1 shield took over from a white version of the star until the late 1960s, when it became the current blue.

An NJ sign dating, as you can see, to May 1965. There are several things historic about the sign, the least of which is the date. Modern NJ signs use Series D numbering instead of Series C - it's a little wider and therefore more legible. The 6 and 9 are also clearly substandard, but that's because they were done and applied fairly cheaply. That's because NJ 69 was a popular number to steal. And therefore, starting in the 1960's, NJ made these signs out of wood. This is therefore an example of the only sign ever produced by NJDOT to be made of wood. Furthermore, this comes from my NJ 31 page because 69 was finally renumbered when the DOT got tired of reerecting signs, even wooden ones.

Before black on white, NC used white on black for its secondary route markers.

Speaking of routes that were renumbered, US 21 is now OH 21 (a state route). See how renumbering makes it easy to get old shields?

The only embossed shield in my collection, also from Ohio. I can't tell if this is/was a township or a county maintained route. I doubt you'll find another one of these in the field to test that idea.

A mouthful of words (and sign corner) from Oklahoma.

Decades-old specimens from the same state. The eagle shield is a transitional style of Oregon state routes from being more of a cutout (similar to Ontario's King's Highways) to dropping the decorations and becoming a plain egg shape. The US 30 shield is probably 50 years old.

While we're on the topic of old US shields, here's one from Wisconsin showing its unique style of double outlines, and a matching state highway shield. Also, they're both on wood.

One last state route shield.

Three modern Interstate signs, but the first one from my I-80 Wyoming page is to older specifications with a smaller font and the state name above it. I believe the second one is from Florida based on other shields on my I-275 Florida page still up in the field. In other states, three digits fit in a three-digit width shield. But in Michigan, you only need two digits for the wider shield, at least if Oakland County is making the shield.

While I'm on the subject of Interstates, and even I-75 in Michigan, here's another one, this time in hyper-reflectivity. Compare the old Michigan font used here to the modern FHWA standard fonts above and below.

The I-94 was probably my oldest Interstate shield, until I traded it for a state-manufactured but never-used Vermont specimen. The one from Texas is probably between the two.

Definitely used and both newer than the 189 (and possibly the 94). The first shield is from Rhode Island. Massachusetts has not put the state name in its Interstate shields for decades.

See my guide and regulatory signs
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