This carload of proper ladies (they look like sisters to me) visited the “Roads of the Pacific,” a popular Ford Motor Company exhibit at the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exhibition in Balboa Park.

Ford put big bucks (which it had at the time) into the popular world’s fairs and exhibitions that were held around the country at the time.

As any big corporation would do, it hired a photographer to document the company’s contribution. Nearly 300 photos and other artifacts are posted on the website of The Henry Ford, the fabulous transportation museum in Dearborn, Mich., that includes Greenfield Village and The Rouge. I was there in 2006.

On a day trip to Balboa Park, these ladies are enjoying the “Roads of the Pacific,” an attraction that took up the hills behind the main building. Recreations of highways around the Pacific rim were created, with visitors riding through it in new Ford convertibles. They all look enough alike that they’re probably sisters, and isn’t that unfortunate.

“Roads of the Pacific” is mostly gone, although if you hike around on the hill behind the Air and Space Museum you’ll find remnants. Just don’t fall onto the freeway; it wasn’t there in 1935.

Still standing in Balboa Park are its main exhibit building, now the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and the Starlight Bowl, originally called the Ford Bowl.

While you’re visiting the area, be sure to go into the San Diego Automotive Museum next door, in what was the California State Building in 1935-36. There’s a good reason why there are airplanes in the car building and cars in the California building, but that’s another story.


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