Lovely birds-eye view of Cape Cod

Federal Eng. & Publ. Co., BIRD’S EYE VIEW of Cape Cod. Boston: John F. Murphy, 1905.
Chromolithograph, 16 7/8”h x 26 7/8”w plus margins. Tipped to original printed card stock wraps. View excellent, very light soiling to wraps.

An attractive chromolithographic bird’s eye view of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Bay, Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound, as seen from an imaginary viewpoint high above Martha’s Vineyard.

This lovely image depicts the Cape in its entirety along with parts of the Elizabeth Islands and the northern end of Martha’s Vineyard, including Cottage City (Oak Bluffs) and Vineyard Haven. Towns, roads and railroads, are shown, and more than one hundred locales are numbered and identified in a legend printed inside the front wrap. Of these, no fewer than 39 are lighthouses, light ships and life-saving stations, an indication of just how challenging the region’s waters were for mariners.

The view was published as a promotional tool by John F. Murphy, “News Agent Eastern District” for the New York, New Haven and Hudson River Railroad, Fall River Line Steamers, and Rowe’s Wharf. Reps #1394 attributes to Murphy a second view depicting Boston Harbor, the South Shore and Cape Cod as seen from the north.

This was one of many such promotional views issued in New England in the first decade of the 20th century. For example, I have seen others depicting Boston Harbor, Casco Bay, the Charles River, Lakes Sunapee and Winnipesaukee, and Mount Washington. All used inexpensive chromolithographic printing to create attractive, informative images in a portable format that appealed to the newly-mobile middle and upper classes, while driving business to the many rail and steam lines criss-crossing the region and its waters.

OCLC 953097480 (Harvard only).