An important White Mountains map, with great provenance

[Henry F.] Walling / Julius Bien, MAP OF THE WHITE MOUNTAINS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE FROM WALLING'S MAP OF THE STATE 1877. , New York City, 1877 .
Lithograph, 24"h x 28"w plus margins, original full color. Folded and tipped into unmarked, cloth-covered pocket. Small ownership inscription on verso of map. "Office of H.F. Walling 102 Chauncy St Boston" inscribed on front endpaper of pocket.

Walling’s own copy of his important and scarce pocket map of the White Mountains.

The map depicts the natural and human geography of the region in great detail, including lakes, streams and rivers; hills and mountains; county and town boundaries; roads and railroads; and mills, factories and other industrial establishments. The most striking features, however, are the isometric lines used to show elevations at 100-foot intervals, with further clarity added by the use of coloring to differentiate 1000-foot intervals. The map’s background is ably reviewed in Adam Apt’s Maps of the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

“The ‘Map of the State’ [in the title] refers to Walling’s Atlas of the State of New Hampshire (…1877, maps printed by Julius Bien)…. The level of precision in this map is clearly far greater than that of any earlier map of the region. Walling was able to make use of the complete triangulation of the state by the U.S. Coast Survey, as well as a complete odometer survey of the state conducted between 1855 and 1860. The contour lines were drawn by the geologist Warren Upham (1850-1934)….

“Although this map, published in June 1877, appears to be identical to the maps in the atlas, it is subtly different, at least in its treatment of hiking trails…. This was not the first contour map of the White Mountains; that distinction belongs to ‘Map of the White Mt. District Showing Locations of Specimens and Contour Lines for Each 500 ft above the Sea,’ published in heliotype only slightly earlier in Appalachia, vol. 1, no. 2 (March 1877). It is more than likely that this this map draws upon the same data upon which Walling based his map….

“Walling’s map was issued to accompany Appalachia vol. 1, no. 3 (June 1877), and it was concurrently sold separately. It was reissued by Bien in 1881.” (Apt, pp. 12-13)

Henry F. Walling was arguably the most accomplished and interesting American mapmaker of the mid-late 19th century, in no small part because of his prolific output: Between 1848 and 1888 he produced perhaps 150 large-scale, separately-issued maps of American towns and counties; several seminal state maps; numerous state and county atlases; and many maps for the U.S. Geological Survey. But arguably his greatest impact was as a serial innovator. He helped pioneer new models of partnership between commercial, local, state and Federal mapping enterprises; demonstrated that commercial mapmakers could produce high-quality, low-cost maps by drawing on the work of government scientific agencies; was a leading advocate of applying geodetic survey methods and tools to local and regional surveys; and catalyzed the first topographical (i.e., three dimensional) survey of an American state.

Apt, Maps of the White Mountains, #18; Cobb, Maps of New Hampshire, #364 (four locations); OCLC #13633423 (1877 issue) and #13633288 (1881 issue), locating two examples of the former and four of the latter. Not in Phillips, List of Maps of America, though LC holds an example of the 1881 edition.


A few minor separations at folds mended, else excellent.