Thursday, June 21, 2007


This is a pretty long shot, and basically relies on someone with the knowledge I seek stumbling upon this post. Probably it's a backwards way of doing this -- I should hunt around for an appropriate message board -- but I'm kinda lazy, and a Google search isn't giving me joy.

Anyway: I'm looking for someone with a knowledge of the history of road/traffic signs (and yes, this sentence is here solely for Google purposes). Some years ago, I read something discussing pre-standardization road signs in America. It indicated that in the early days of automobiles, signs were often random -- for instance, a stop sign might have an upraised hand to indicate "halt," or something completely different.

It's a subject I'm (for a variety of reasons) kind of interested in reading more on -- but I don't know where I found that first reference, years back. My guesses were either "The Straight Dope" or Bill Bryson's "Made in America" -- but it appears neither of those are correct.

So, anonymous future person who stumbles upon the PPA -- any help?

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#30 -- "The Butterfly Effect" by Pernille Rygg

This is another of those books that's been sitting on the shelf since the book-reviewing days. It's been a long time since I've read many mysteries, and this one (it's Swedish, by the way) managed to hold my interest. Plot-wise, it's not so great -- it's got some holes, to put it mildly. But the writing's pretty good, and often clever.

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Off to Colorado Saturday. Hurrah! Blogging will be light.


Lindsey said...

You're in luck. I'm hockey-loving, occasional historian who loves a good research dig. Check out "The Human Factors of Transport Signs" (link below) on Google books. Chapter 1 has a history. It's new-ish (2004), so probably has references you can mine for more info. Enjoy!

gsdgsd13 said...

Holy cow. I certainly didn't expect a response this fast. Thanks very much -- that's fantastic! I'll have to grab the book.