Arizona Highways is a part of state's history

Arizona Highways is a part of state's history

February 21, 2012
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The Arizona Highways Centennial Photo Project inspired us earlier this week to capture a day in the life of ADOT

You don’t have to call this state home to understand the appeal of Arizona Highways magazine.

Readers everywhere appreciate the publication’s gorgeous photography and stellar writing – it boasts subscribers from all 50 U.S. states and two-thirds of the countries on this planet!

Not only does it have reach, but the magazine has some real staying power. It’s been around since a few engineers from the Arizona Highway Department (now known as ADOT) published the first issue back in 1925.

According to the Arizona Highways website, the magazine’s first issues contained travel stories and photos – in black and white.

“The first issue had 26 pages, including advertisements and ran a travelogue on the Phoenix to Yuma highway. The editor listed 17 other travelogues that the magazine would cover. One thousand copies were printed and they sold for 10 cents each.

Those early issues also contained page after page of details of road-building projects ‘to tell of the work being done by the Arizona Highway Department’.”

Today the photos are in color and the issue price has risen slightly, but the magazine still operates as a division of the Arizona Department of Transportation.

We’re proud of the connection and we thought it was only fitting to provide a little bit of the magazine’s history during a week that we've devoted to Arizona’s past (and present).

We also wanted to take just one more opportunity to highlight the magazine’s Arizona Centennial Photo Project, which is what inspired our own centennial project.

To create a photographic record of the state’s 100th birthday, the magazine put a call out to amateur and professional photographers. The aim was to capture an extensive account of a day in the life of Arizona on Feb. 14, 2012. The results so far have been really good, according to Arizona Highways Photo Editor Jeff Kida.

“The idea came from us doing the February (Centennial) issue of the magazine. We looked at historic photos from the big collections … we also went to small private libraries and private collections,” Kida said. “What gave us a real sense of time and place came from everywhere.”

Photographers still have time to upload their shots. Remember, the photo must have been taken on Feb. 14, but you’ve got until Feb. 28 to submit.

There’s quite a range of people places and things, but it really does give a glimpse of Arizona, which was the goal, Kida says.

“If you’re looking back 50 years from now … (the project) will hopefully answer the questions, what were they doing, what did it look like and how did people live,” Kida said.

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