In the earliest days of the automobile, there were no government-maintained numbered highways. Instead, long-distance travel took place on auto trails. These were roads maintained by private organizations, often (but not always) with a profit motive. One of the most notable auto trails was the National Old Trails Road (NOTR), established in 1912. It extended from New York City all the way to Barstow, California, where it forked into two branches, one heading for Los Angeles and the other to San Francisco. Signage along the western portion of the route was handled by the Automobile Club of Southern California (ACSC). The auto trail era came to a close with the establishment of the US Numbered Highway System in 1926. NOTR was split up into several numbered routes; the portion of road west of New Mexico became US Route 66.
This is a replica of one of the red, white and blue guide signs installed by ACSC along the National Old Trails Road. The original was posted in Amboy, California. It shows directions and distances to Needles and Cadiz to the east, and Barstow and Ludlow to the west. Our sign is made to the ACSC standards for guide signs circa 1914, only a couple of years after the National Old Trails Road was established. Every detail of the font and layout is a precise duplicate of the original. Add a nod to California’s past to your garage, bar, office, or man cave with our faithful replica of this historic sign.
Our National Old Trails Road Amboy sign is flat-printed on heavy 14-gauge steel using processes much like those used to create the original sign. The result is a sign with a glossy, non-reflective finish that is nearly indistinguishable from the original porcelain signs. And much like the originals, our signs are durable enough to withstand years under the Mojave Desert sun. Mounting holes are included for easy installation, indoors or outdoors. Choose from the following sizes:
- 12 in. × 9 in.
- 20 in. × 15 in.
- 24 in. × 18 in. (the exact size of the original sign as installed in Amboy)
Want a sign like this for elsewhere along the National Old Trails Road? Or perhaps a design of a more recent vintage? We can make just about any kind of road sign that’s ever existed: mileage sign, route markers, city limit signs, warning signs, you name it! And we can make signs from all fifty states, Canada, and every other country in the world. We’d love to help with your custom order—just contact Jake to get started!