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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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Frank Brusca

Frank Brusca


Chelmsford, MA


I have been obsessed with Route 40 and the National Road for most of my life. My father's job took our family on the road quite a bit - by the time I was seven we had moved between Baltimore and Denver four times. Even when we settled for good in Baltimore, all seven of us would pile into our Plymouth station wagon and spend weeks on the road on extended road trips. It was on those trips that I really gained an appreciation of and love for highways. While my siblings would amuse themselves with books and card games, I was often poring over gas station road maps and surveying the scenery whirring past the car window.

As an adult, I have remained close to the highway I love. For a time I lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and now I live in the Columbus, Ohio, area. It seems that I just can't keep myself too far from the highway. I driven Route 40 extensively over the past thirty years and have become quite familiar with the people, places, history and culture of the road. I've shot thousands of photographs and have amassed a considerable collection of books, ephemera and other materials on the subject. Besides this web site, I've written about Route 40 and the National Road for numerous publications. For a short while I wrote a regular column in American Road magazine. I've also had the great pleasure of meeting hundreds of people on my journeys. I've spent many an hour chatting with locals in mom and pop eateries, hoboes looking for a listening ear and everyday folks eager to tell me their story. I was also fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of William Least Heat-Moon, a writer with whom I have always felt a great affinity. In his 2008 book Roads to Quoz, Heat-Moon wrote three chapters about me and my odological efforts.

I am currently working on an update to George Stewart's 1953 book, U.S. 40. I have been revisiting all 115 scenes depicted in his book and documenting the changes that have occurred in the past 60 years. My documentation includes thorough GPS data and photography - including medium format photographs taken with a camera that is identical to the one used by Stewart during his 1949 and 1950 field expeditions. I am also shooting 360-degree virtual reality shots of each location. In addition to the Stewart update project, I have also been working on a reconstruction of the travels of Jack Kerouac's On the Road period.

If you would like to contact me, click on the Contact link at the bottom of the page.

View user comments below.

Frank Brusca and his father at Berthoud Pass
Frank Brusca and his father at Berthoud Pass. September 15, 1957. Photo by Anne Brusca.

User Comments · Add a Comment

Posted by: Bradley Black on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 8:50:14 PM

I grew up in Kanopolis Ks which is five miles east of Ellsworth, old 40 went through the north edge of Ellsworth. At one time Ellsworth had two truck stops plus two other gas stations and a motel, Charlotts café and truck stop was open 24 hours and was always a good place to hang out when we were in highschool. My family made trips from Ellsworth to Steam Boat Springs Colorado, it was neat to take 40 over Rabbit Ears pass, I also made many trips from Ellsworth to Kansas City, if I can be any help let me know.

Posted by: RLT on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 8:46:59 AM

Interesting that you have researched Route 40. I was at Berthoud Pass in 1949 when a young child. We were on a family trip "Out West" from Michigan. We travelled Rt 40, probably in remembrance of my dad's trip out west when he was a young man. He and two others covered the west in 17 days in the summer of 1929. I recently published a book on his trip, picking up as many pieces of his recollections as were available. The book is appropriately ***led "Out West".

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: 2012-01-13 06:54:04

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