I have been tormented during the week by the memory of a reference to a book by a social geographer who took photographs as he travelled across America during the 1950s, mile by mile, as a documentary rather than an artistic record. I’ve been unable to track down the reference. But, in the course of my research, I hve bought a book called The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip (New York: Aperture, 2014), which goes some way to answering the question. Early in the century, when it first became possible to cross the continent by road, Rand McNally produced Photo-Auto Guides, which illustrated automobile routes with deliberately nondescript photographs. Then, in 1930, a Swiss journalist, Felix Moeschlin, travelled across America with a photographer, Dr. Kurt Richter. They produced Amerika vom Auto Aus, with photographs of small towns, gas stations, and African-American workers. I’m aware that there were plenty of major photographers who took photographs based on road trips, including Berenice Abbott, who photographed Route 1 in 1954, and Robert Frank who produced The Americans after being awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to travel across America in 1955. But these were art photographers. I am still looking for the ordinariness of the everyday record.