Humbead’s Revised Map of the World (1969)

Concept: Earl Crabb / Art: Rick Shubb, HUMBEAD’S REVISED MAP OF THE WORLD WITH LIST OF POPULATION. Berkeley: Humbead Enterprises, 1969.
Separately-issued broadside map printed in color halftone, 21”h x 16”w at neat line. Excellent condition.
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A justly-iconic product of the late-60s, Humbead’s Revised Map distills the world to its essentials, or at least to the places and people most “top of mind” for the American counterculture.

The map imagines the world as consolidated in a single supercontinent comprising Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, New York City and Cambridge, with small territories allotted to Southeast Asia and Boston. The overall effect is something like a hippie version of Pangaea, the supercontinent that 200 million years ago actually contained much of the Earth’s landmass. The compass rose features the four carinal directions of up, down, left and right. To the left (not West) are two small islands (“Rest of the World” and “Nashville”), and the ocean is surrounded by the names of perhaps a thousand leading lights of contemporary culture, everyone from Dr. Seuss to Huey Newton to Allen Ginsberg (and hundreds of people I’ve never heard of).

The map was first issued in 1968, the product of a collaboration between computer programming pioneer Earl Crabb, who is said to have sketched the map on a napkin or similar scrap, and musician and graphic artist Rick Shubb. Offered here is the second edition, with the date changed to 1969, adjustments in the color scheme, revisions to the names in the border, and the imprint moved to the lower left. The first edition received an enthusiastic review from the Berkeley Barb, which is quoted in almost every discussion of the map.

“Certainly the most astonishing document to come from the underground presses is Humbead’s Revised Map of the World With List of Population. It provides the independent verification of the fallacy of space, and that pernicious reasoning that makes New York and Berkeley seem far apart on normal maps. Everyone knows that what’s important is people, not distances, and now for the first time we have a map recognizing this.” (Berkeley Barb, March 1-7, 1968, cited Aug. 23, 2021 at “Humbead’s Revised Map of the World (With List of Population)” on bigthink.com)

Once upon a time Rick Shubb’s web site had a long reminiscence on the origins of Humbead’s Revised Map, but as of August 2021 the link is dead. Fortunately it is quoted at some length on the web site of my colleague Rod Barron. A more conceptual discussion, though perhaps overly focused on the folk-music angle, may be found at “Revising Humbead’s Revised Map of the World”, on the web site of cultural commentator Michael J. Kramer.

The map was completely re-drawn and a new edition published in 1970.

References
Rumsey #11748. Not in OCLC, but see #1130758162 for the 1968 first edition.