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US 40 Shield
The best source of historic and contemporary information for America's finest transcontinental highway.
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George Stewart Photo Locations

George Stewart U.S. 40 Photographs - Illinois

In 1949 and again the following year, George R. Stewart made two cross-country treks on U.S. Route 40. All told, he spent almost four months on the road photographing and documenting the landscape and everyday life along the road. His purpose was to record what he saw as he passed. His record captured the grand and the mundane. The resulting book, U.S. 40, was published in 1953. Accompanying his 114 photographs were 92 interpretive essays written in an accessible and enlightening manner. It provides readers with an armchair view of a roadtrip across the continent.

For the past 40+ years I've been revisiting all of the scenes in the book and documenting changes that have occurred since the mid-twentieth century. (In 1983 Thomas and Geraldine Vale published an update titled U.S. 40 Today that showed 72 of the 114 scenes (63%). For the past few years I have been revisiting each scene and shooting a variety of media including:

  • High resolution digital images.
  • Medium format B&W negatives and color transparencies using a camera that is an exact clone to the one Stewart used.
  • 35mm B&W negatives and color transparencies.
  • 360-degree virtual reality images of each scene.

My goal is to have these images published in the first complete update to Stewart's original book. Here are links to many of my U.S. 40 photographs. If you are a publisher and are interested in my work, please contact me.

Benjamin Harrison EraGeorge Stewart U.S. 40 Photograph No. 32 - Benjamin Harrison Era (Marshall, IL)
"Business is pretty much dead in downtown Marshall ever since the Wal*Mart opened north of town. This strip mainly houses antiques shops. I have a gr......"

Embarras RiverGeorge Stewart U.S. 40 Photograph - Embarras River (Greenup, IL)
"It isn't clear if Stewart shot this photo on the old or newer alignment of the highway. The newer alignment (probably the correct location) has a cro......"

VandaliaGeorge Stewart U.S. 40 Photograph No. 33 - Vandalia (Vandalia, IL)
"I have a nice contemporary shot of this scene. I will upload it soon......."

Mississippi RiverGeorge Stewart U.S. 40 Photograph No. 34 - Mississippi River (East Saint Louis, IL)
"Mark this missing photo up to laziness - and being in too much of a hurry to get across the Mississippi River. Access to this site is easy and I plan......"

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Feedback: Do you have corrections or contributions for this page? Want to make a suggestion? Click here to send me an e-mail. I am espcially interested in memories, stories, postcards and photographs. Thanks!


Last updated: 2011-04-01 19:37:06

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