National Geographic : 1951 Jun
found that its "whorls" of steel and con crete matched the black (railroad) and red (highway) lines that met at South Bend on my map. Suddenly from under the plane's broad wing slipped Lake Michigan, flecked with the white sails of small week-end pleasure boats. The lake seemed more like mot tled glass than water. An empty Lakes freighter, red hull riding high, plied its way northward. Off to the south spread Gary, Indiana, tied to low-hanging clouds by a pall of smoke from its steel mills. I watched the rapid transition from tightly built lakeside Chicago (pages 730 31)* to less and less crowded residential areas which finally blended into rich farm land. Somehow the maze of city streets had combined and merged into the rec tangular highway system shown on The Society's map of North Central United States. Designers of linoleum could learn a les son from the artistry of northern Illinois truck farms. Crops planted in various sized squares and oblongs form an intri cate green mosaic, relieved here and there by black swatches of freshly plowed ground. All lines in this rectangular pattern run north-south or east-west. Basic division is the 6-mile-square township, provided for by the Ordinance of 1785. These in turn have been cut up into 36 sections of one square mile each. Smaller and ir regular divisions have followed, especially in the most heavily farmed areas, but strict adherence to the original compass point rectangularity is the general rule. SwArable areas throughout much of the country are thus as well marked with the cardinal directions as if a Bun yanesque draftsman had scribed the land itself with parallels and meridians. With this system in mind, I found it a simple matter to compare map and ground in terms of actual compass points. Although 2,500,000 times larger, how like my map was the scene below! t Davenport and Rock Island, neighboring black spots beside a blue ink line on the map, I easily identified in reality at the 707 National Geographic Photographer J. Baylor Roberts junction of the Rock River with the Cloverleaf Roads Baffle Random Motorists * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: The Pentagon, too big for downtown Washington, stands "Mapping the Nation's Breadbasket," by Fred in Virginia beside an inlet of the Potomac (left). A small erick Simpich, June, 1948; and "Illinois, Cross city in itself, the building contains five cafeterias, two roads of the Continent," by Junius B. Wood, dining rooms, nine snack bars, department store, barber May, 1931. shop, post office, newsstand, drugstore, laundry, and bank. t The scale of The Society's map of North Parking lots for 6,600 cars are not enough; space for Central United States is 1:2,500,000, or 39.46 1,600 more is being created. Generals, admirals, and high miles to the inch. At a speed of 250 miles per civilians park near the entrances; small fry use the distant hour, the air traveler will advance his route on "buckwheat," or "Siberia." this map at the rate of 6.3 inches per hour.