James T. B. Ives, STRATA MAP OF PART OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Together with a Portion of the Dominion of Canada, To Illustrate the Fundamental Facts of Geological Science… New York: Charles E. Merrill & Co., 1888.

A remarkable three-dimensional Strata Map of the United States

An ingenious multi-layered educational instrument, with ten superimposed cut-away maps allowing students to “peel away” geological strata of the Eastern United States. Extremely fragile, a remarkable survival, and only the third example located. The instrument’s construction is rather complex, consisting of ten superimposed cartographic layers, each featuring a retrofitted Colton map depicting the United States […]

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Samuel Gridley Howe / [Stephen Preston Ruggles, printer], atlas of the united states printed for the use of the blind, at the expense of john c. gray; under the direction of s.g. howe. at the n.e. institution for the education of the blind. Boston: New England Institution for the Education of the Blind, 1837.

Landmark Atlas of the United States Printed for the Use of the Blind

The pioneering Atlas of the United States Printed for the Use of the Blind printed in raised relief at the New England Institution for the Education of the Blind. One of the most significant and interesting early American atlases, recorded in fewer than 20 extant copies. The New England Institution for the Education of the […]

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A[ugust] F[riedrich] W[ilhelm] Crome / F.A. Pingeling Sculpsit Hamburg, NEUE CARTE VON EUROPA welch die merkwürdigsten Producte und vernehmsten Handelsplätze dem Flächen-Inhalt aller Europäischen Länder…. Dessau, 1782.

The first attempt at economic mapping

A detailed thematic map illustrating European agricultural, extractive and manufacturing activity at the end of the 18th century. Thought to be the earliest example of economic mapping. Crome’s map illustrates the distribution across Europe of the production of 56 commodities and other products, including gold, copper, wine, fruit, salt, hemp, silk, horses, and so on. The symbols for each […]

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Cordelia Wilder, THE World. Hingham, [Mass.], 1826

Large and appealing schoolgirl world map

An attractive and unusually large manuscript world map by a Hingham, Massachusetts schoolgirl. The map is projected on a double hemisphere, with the continents in very appealing pastel wash and outline color and major topographical and riverine features delicately delineated. The map is dated 1826, but the geography reflects a late 18th century world view, […]

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[ William Bennett ]Painted by G. Cooke / Engd. by W[illiam] J[ames] Bennett, CITY OF WASHINGTON From beyond the Navy Yard. New York: Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St. N.Y., [ca. 1834.]

Lovely William Bennett aquatint of Washington, D.C.

One of the great views of Washington, D.C., emphasizing the city’s magnificent natural setting at the junction of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. Executed in aquatint by William Bennett, one of America’s great landscape engravers.  The view depicts the capital as seen looking westward from the south bank of the Anacostia River. The city’s major landmarks […]

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Cartographic game board celebrating the British Empire in India

An attractive, rare but ultimately mysterious game board, likely designed to capitalize on public interest following the successful conclusion of the First Anglo-Sikh War, of 1845-46.  The central part of the game is a map of Europe, Africa and Asia, with three sailing routes from England to India outlined, with the Atlantic Ocean route featuring tiny circular […]

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Rare T.W. Bowler view of Port Elizabeth, South Africa

An early, important and very rare depiction of the Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Roughly equidistant from Cape Town and Durban, Port Elizabeth was founded in 1820. As a seaport it great rapidly, to the extent that in 1861, the year before Bowler drew this image, the town was granted autonomous status. After this plate was […]

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[Anonymous]. Devizes Prison BLOCK PLAN. [No place, ca. latter part 19th century.]

Plan of a prison influenced by Bentham’s Panopticon

Fascinating 19th-century manuscript architectural plan of a Wiltshire prison on a revolutionary design, owing a debt to Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon. Devizes Prison (properly Devizes County House of Corrections or colloquially “New Bridewell”) was designed by Richard Ingleman (1777-1838). Construction was completed in 1817, and the facility remained in use until being closed and demolished in […]

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Mary Ronin's 1958 pictorial map celebrating American diversity

Mary Ronin pictorial map celebrating American diversity

A colorful and upbeat pictorial map of the United States celebrating the “great diversity in its land and its people.” Drawn by Mary Ronin and published by the Department of State for the United States pavilion at the Brussels Universal and International Exhibition, better known as Expo 58. I quote at length from P.J. Mode’s […]

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[Mao on race riots in US] Mao Zedong, [Chinese title translates to:] Statement by comrade Mao Zedong, chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in support of the Afro-American struggle against violent repression. April 16, 1968.] Peking, 1968.

Mao Zedong puts his own spin on race riots in America

An unusual Chinese-language propaganda broadside and map issued in April 1968, in which Mao Zedong spins the race riots that erupted after the assassination of Martin Luther King as “a component part of the contemporary world revolution.”  This broadside features a statement by Mao Zedong printed in red Chinese characters at the top, arguing “that […]

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