Why There Are Giant Concrete Arrows Across The American Landscape?

If you’ve ever travelled by car across the US, you may have stumbled upon some giant, 70 foot (21 meters) concrete arrows lying in the middle of nowhere. It is indeed a very bizarre site to come across but what’s their real purpose?

Let’s find out.

Photo: www.messynessychic.com

In 1924, the USPS began a cross-country air mail service. Small airplanes (surplus planes from World War I) would fly from state to state delivering mail across the country. (the article continues after the ad)

During harsh weather conditions and especially at night though, the effectiveness of this transportation system was limited by low visibility. To help the pilots navigate the planes, USPS constructed every 10 miles and all the way from NYC to San Fransisco, big, concrete arrows that each indicated the direction to the next one. These arrows were basically beacons that helped the mail deliverers trace their way:

Photo: Creative Commons

They were painted in bright yellow and each of these arrows was built next to a 50 foot (15 meters) tall tower with a rotating light: the light for the night air mail.

Photo: Creative Commons

As time went by and new improvements in navigation have been developed though, the use of these concrete beacons became obsolete. By the 1940s, they were no longer used but, as it seems, these arrows will stay for much longer as a reminder of a past era.

Photo: Clay Fraser / Flickr

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Is What Airport Runway Numbers Mean

Main Article Photo: www.messynessychic.com, Core77
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: The Forgotten Giant Arrows that Guide you Across AmericaConcrete Arrows

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