The advantage of my "feed sack" roads is that it is pretty easy to make the strips specific to the scenario. Right now I am going to cut out 2 1/2 inch wide strips and assemble them to make a road/stream, one a bit over 7 feet, whach can go diagonally across a 6x4 mat the long way, and another about 5 feet, to go across the short way. I have a bridge. If I find I need an intersection I can make one.
So far I have learned how to cut the material, which is easier than I expected. I have learned that a clothes iron gets hot enough to seal the cut edges, that hot melt glue; high temp, can also seal the edges and can glue strips together, albeit not very strongly. Krylon Fusion works, Rustoleum does not. I need to buy some blue and some brown for the roads, then I can take some pictures.
As best I can determine, asphalt and chip (or tar and chip) pavement came into use early in the 20th Century. Asphalt (tar) is the heavy residue after all the lighter, high-value fractions of petroleum (kerosene, gasoline, diesel, lube oil, etc) are refined out.
It was a total waste product and just dumped until someone thought to use it as glue to hold gravel together for road surfaces. Then, it became a salable item. It also became valuable when "catalytic cracking" was invented which permitted breaking some of it down into lighter, more valuable fractions.
It is an interesting parallel to gasoline. When petroleum began to be refined, kerosene for lighting was the most desired product. The more volatile, and sometimes explosive, gasoline was an undesired lighter by-product of refining. Gasoline was just dumped until the automobile came along and it was suddenly a valuable product.
Thus, blacktop asphalt paving fits perfectly into the AQMF timeline.
I cannot find where I saw this now, so cannot confirm it, but I think I once read that many roads remained dirt until motorized vehicles became common because dirt is easier on horse's hooves than hard pavement.
Until petroleum refining created so much asphalt, its use was limited to what could be found in nature. A lot of classical references to "pitch" really mean natural asphalt. Drake's discovery of oil in 1859 was followed by refining, so 1870 is probably a good early starting date for use.
It is true that dirt and gravel roads were a bit easier on horses' hooves. However, another factor entered in. Horses and old steel-tired wagon wheels just walked or rolled over the road surface. Rubber pneumatic tires tended to grab, hold, and throw the gravel off the road surface. Asphalt was a way to improve surface durability for automobiles.
The picture that morbius has used at the top of this page is the same Memphis street shown on page 171 of the hardcover rulebook. It is simply one block further down the street. In the rulebook photo you can barely see Gibson Furniture down the street, where this one is taken right at the business.
These are probably from a series to document some major street in Memphis.
I have a few hundred squares of sidewalk to scribe. I haven't committed to any particular brand and was wondering what size typical HO or 15mm scale sidewalk squares were broken into? I am guessing 1/2" squares, with a 1/8" edge near the gutter.
The width of the Model T Ford at the front hubcaps was 5'8" You could call it 6' for convenience.
Between the gutter and the tram line it looks like you could put 3 x vehicles next to each other.
It looks like you could do the same across the tram tracks and then another 3 vehicles for the other side.
That'd give me about 54' from curb to curb. Down at the intersection, I count approx 6 men between the curb and the building. For convenience, if we say that they are 1 1/2 feet in width, that'd make the sidewalk approx 9' wide. 2 sidewalks on the street (18 feet), and the distance from curb to curb (54 feet) gives me a staggering estimate of the street being 72' wide!
Memphis at the time was a major center for agriculture, commerce, finance and shipping on the Mississippi River. A mark of a prosperous and growing city was wide, impressive thoroughfares and sidewalks.
Your estimate of 72 feet is not far off when we look at the details. First, there are TWO streetcar tracks down the middle. In fact, if you look down the street you can see two streetcars side by side. If we allow 10 feet for the width of the streetcar and some clearance either side, we arrive at 52 feet building to building distance. Using your 9 feet for each sidewalk, we get 34 feet for usable street. That would be about 6 flivver widths wide. This would allow two traffic lanes and a parking lane on each side.
Very good estimate and it checks with reasonable dimensions.
There was no backdoor at the Alamo. Planet Earth doesn't have one either. Fight and win or DIE!