NPR : News

All Across America, Meat Billboards Ruled The Road

With the birth of the Interstate Highway System in the mid-1950s, America was on its way to becoming a nation of long-distance drivers.

Add an emerging cattle industry, technological advances in truck refrigeration and the spread of meat packaging plants from major cities to rural areas, and you've got a recipe for getting more meat to more people. (See more meat facts in charts and graphs here.)

Although outdoor advertising has been around since ancient Egypt, it really took off after the highway system was built. And advertisers thought, what better way to get to the captive audience in a car to pull over than to tempt them with giant pictures of meat?

Today, some billboards emit the distinctive odor of grilled meat, and there are billboards depicting the potential health effects of meat consumption. But here's a collection of billboards that helped fuel America's love affair with meat way back in the 20th Century.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Thanksgiving Buzz: What Would Pilgrims Say About The Plight Of Bees?

When you sit down for your holiday dinner, you may want to give thanks to bees and other pollinators. Their health is tied to your food. What's behind the bee declines? Watch our video investigation.

Capitol Hill Lawmakers Find Living At The Office Makes Sense, Saves Cents

Three office buildings on the House side of the U.S. Capitol serve as offices, and by night as lawmakers' apartments. Dozens of lawmakers choose to sleep in the office when Congress is in session.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.