From southern Cook County to the Mississippi River, the Lincoln Highway meanders through many of Chicago's suburbs before heading west through Illinois's fertile farmland. America's first transcontinental highway once stretched nearly 3,400 miles from New York City to San Francisco. The story of the highway's role in shaping the contemporary American highway system is one that examines the interaction of technology and human spirit. Conceived by entrepreneur Carl G. Fischer in 1912 and endorsed by businessman Henry B. Joy, the idea of creating an automobile-friendly roadway spanning America would soon change the nature of travel in the 20th century. Lincoln Highway in Illinois defines and describes the role of the highway as it zigzags its way across the "Land of Lincoln" and highlights the cities, towns, and rural communities along its route.