This blog post is dedicated to driving in Oregon in 1952.
(And my dad.)
1952, was a great year for driving in Oregon. Nothing specific happened that I know of. But you could drive through the Mitchel Point Tunnel on The Columbia River Hwy after visiting Multnomah Falls and The Vista House. (The tunnel was blasted in 1966 to make room for I-84.) Or you could take a scenic drive on Hwy 101 along the entire Oregon Coast. (Or if you wanted to leave the state of Oregon you could get your kicks on Route 66.) In 1952 driving was still considered a skill and people took great pride in their driving abilities. It would have been considered quite a compliment to be called a "good driver" especially if you were a woman. Sunday drivers were not at all uncommon and neither was "joy riding." And with gas at 25¢ a gallon, you could afford to drive around with no particular place to go.
My Grandparents and their... 1948 Plymouth? (Dad would know.)
Seaside, Ore. (Note: Car on beach in lower right corner. You can still drive your cars on certain Oregon Beaches including Sunset Beach... I think... Dad would know.)
The lovely Timberline Lodge off Hwy 26.
Coast line north from Sea Lion Caves, Oregon Coast Hwy.
An official 1951-1952 Oregon Driver's Manual to help keep you safe on the roads in 1952.
Sticking your hand out the window means signaling, not waving.
Watch out for the little kiddies!
Traffic signs in 1952. (Note: There are no SPEED signs.)
Here are some important rules of the road to remember: Use caution when passing horses, don't shoot a gun across a road. Your bike needs lights. No, that's not a new law. It's been around since 1952. And of course the ever important, "Children Must Ride Inside Vehicles," not on the running boards, not on the hood. It doesn't matter if they're in a car seat or not, just make sure you didn't tie them to the roof.
And finally, The Traffic Cop. Beware... and respect The Traffic Cop. And you better hope he's in a good mood if you happen to pass him. He probably will be, there's not as much road rage in 1952, but there are no radar guns either and the speed limit is "The Basic Rule." So if he "thinks" you're driving too fast. You are. And that's all there is to it. So remember "The Basic Rule"* and everything you learned in this handy little guide to driving, and before you know it you'll be floating along the road with the windows down and the wind in your hair.
* #35 The Basic Rule
"This is the foundation of the Oregon speed law. In effect it simply states that you must keep your car under control by driving speeds which will make it possible for you to stop or reduce speed safely whenever necessary to avoid colliding with other persons or vehicles."
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