You never know what you’ll find at the El Cerrito Recycling Center (or “One man’s trash is another man’s blog post”)

A World War II-era road map discovered at the El Cerrito Recycling Center. Maps were rare both because of the paper shortage and gasoline and tire rationing that limited all but necessary travel ("Is this trip really necessary?") The person who collected these had high priority employment.

I’ve found a lot of cool items at the El Cerrito Recycling Center over the years, usually at the book exchange area. But the best was a box of 36 road maps a guy was about to dump into the paper recycling bin, all from the 1930s and ’40s. I asked if I could have them and he gladly handed them over. The ones from the war era, like the one pictured, were marked with a note that “All points of military interest have been removed voluntarily from this map and index.”

Chris Treadway

  • some people have all the luck!

  • John Stashik

    I love studying Bay Area maps of that era and looking at our roadways. The Eastshore highway without interchanges, highway 50 was MacArthur Blvd. (and Hopkins) in Oakland. Also, not as much of the bay was filled, so even the land has changed over the years. I wish I had kept all the old maps I used to pick up free at service stations.