The very rare first edition of the Porcineograph, a triumph of the imagination with a place on my personal “top ten” list. The map unites in one image considerable wit, stunning graphic design, hygienic hog farming, and post-Civil War reconciliation between the Union and Confederacy.
The central map depicts the United States as a pig, with the snout at Maine and two legs represented by the peninsulas of Florida and Baja. A third leg rests on Cuba, drawn in the shape of a sausage, and the fourth on the Sandwich Islands, drawn of course as a cluster of sandwiches. The “GEHOGRAPHY,” as the author refers to it, is surrounded by the seals of the states and the names of their favored pork-based dishes. Vignettes at lower left and right illustrate events, all of course involving pigs, that shaped the course of American history.
The map was designed as a souvenir for guests at a massive party held by William Emerson Baker (1828-1888),
“whose successful Grover & Baker Sewing Machine Company produced accessibly-priced units for home use, retired in 1868 at the age of forty. He moved to a large farm in Needham, Mass., which he transformed into an amusement park full of attractions and exhibits that expressed his radical political viewpoints.
“In the mid-1870s, Baker’s activist heart turned to the nascent Pure Food Movement, which lobbied for stricter regulations on food producers…. Baker became obsessed with hygienic farming. In 1875, he held a big party, with 2,500 attendees, to launch his “Sanitary Piggery,” a new kind of hog farm featuring ultra-clean housing and controlled diets. Because Baker was a man of many causes, the get-together also celebrated the centennial of the battle at Bunker Hill, and, through the invitation of Southern guests, advocated reconciliation of North and South.” (Rebecca Onion, “An Eccentric Millionaire’s 1875 Pork Map of the United States” at Slate.com)
The souvenir must have been a hit, as Emerson soon issued a variant edition for sale to benefit charitable causes. That version features different typography and a long note in the lower margin. This first edition is far more rarely seen on the market.
OCLC 852190771 (three institutional holdings), and possibly others. Mode #2054 (2nd edition).