Birds-eye view of Lake Winnipesaukee

Geo[rge] H. Walker & Co., LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Boston, 1903.
Several mended edge tears, three extending into image, and some chipping in left margin.
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A lovely example of this well-known 1903 bird’s-eye view of Lake Winnipesaukee, unusual for being in vibrant chromolithographic color on heavy paper.

By 1903 the Lakes and White Mountain regions of New Hampshire had become major tourist destinations, with a well-developed network of rail links and hotels. Accompanying this development was a rich literature and visual iconography revealed in maps, views and other prints.

This chromolithograph depicts the Lake Winnipesaukee, NH region as seen from an imaginary elevated viewpoint to the south, with the White Mountains in the far background. In addition to the features of the spectacular natural landscape, the view depicts roads, the line of the Boston & Maine Railroad, and the many towns and villages. The lake’s many islands and the peaks of the White Mountains are identified using numbered and lettered keys, respectively.

The vast majority of examples of this view were printed as two-stone lithographs on thin paper, folded and tipped into card stock wraps, and have a rather dull appearance. By contrast, the impression offered here is a vibrant chromolithograph on heavy stock, far more attractive than the more common two-stone editions.

George Walker’s publishing firm was established in 1882 and operated well into the 20th century. An advertisement in the 1882 Boston Business Directory describes the firm as “publishers and lithographers” doing “engraving in all its branches, map engraving and photo-lithographing.” (cited in Reps, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America, p. 37) Among other things, Walker issued an atlas of Massachusetts, separate maps of Boston and its metropolitan area, and birds-eye views of Bar Harbor, Boston, Edgartown, and Mount Washington.

Condition

Several mended edge tears, three extending into image, and some chipping in left margin.