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BRM1049 Foster facsimile 1826A partnership of John and William Pendleton, Pendleton’s Lithography was Boston’s first lithographic firm. Having previously worked as engravers, the brothers acquired lithographic equipment and supplies and set up shop in 1825. The brothers parted ways in 1829, with John moving to New York and opening his own lithographic operation, while William continued to run Pendleton’s Lithography in Boston until 1836. In that year William sold the firm to his bookkeeper Thomas Moore, under whose name the business continue to operate.

From the beginning maps and topographic views were an important part of Pendleton’s output.  Their very first map–and indeed one of the first lithographic maps issued in America–was probably an 1826 facsimile of Foster’s 1677 “Map of New-England.” Their topographic views included for example works by early female lithographic artist Mary Jane Derby, images of Boston, and works by Fitz Henry Lane such as this iconic 1836 view of Gloucester.

For those with an interest in maps, however, Pendleton’s Lithography should be best remembered for issuing dozens of seminal maps of Massachusetts towns in the 1830s… the consequence of a statewide mapping project that required each town to commission a detailed survey of its lands.  For example, see these maps of Amherst, Dorchester, and Nantucket, all products of Pendleton’s Lithography.  These surveys were later compiled by Simeon Borden to produce the 1844 Topographical Map of Massachusetts.

A who’s-who of American artists and lithographers worked at one time or another for Pendleton’s, including among others John H. Bufford, Nathaniel Currier, Orra White Hitchcock, David Claypoole Johnston, Fitz Henry Lane.

16 results, ordered by Publication Date

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A rare view of Boston’s Quincy Market

An early, lovely and apparently extremely rare view of Quincy Market, built in 1824-26 to accommodate the overflow from Faneuil Hall. The view was drawn by Alexander Jackson Davis (1803-1892), a successful architect and leading proponent of the Greek Revival style. Before turning to architecture, Davis began his career as a watercolorist and lithographer in […]

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H[eman] Stebbins / Pendleton’s Lithography, MAP OF WORCESTER SHIRE TOWN OF THE COUNTY OF WORCESTER. Worcester[?]: C[larendon] Harris, 1833.

Rare 1833 map of Worcester Massachusetts

A fine and rare map depicting the human and natural geography of Worcester, Massachusetts. First settled by the English in 1674 the area was twice abandoned during King Phillip’s and Queen Anne’s Wars before being permanently resettled in 1713, incorporated in 1722 and named seat of the newly-created Worcester County in 1731. Taking advantage of […]

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From Actual Surveys Made by Edmund J. Baker, Surveyr. / Pendleton's Lithog[raph]y, A MAP of the Towns of DORCHESTER AND MILTON, 1831, Made under the direction of the Town's committees for the use of the Commonwealth. Boston, 1831.

First printed map of Dorchester and Milton Massachusetts

A fine and very rare 1831 map depicting the human and natural geography of Dorchester and Milton, Massachusetts. Dorchester was founded just before Boston in 1630, was annexed to its northern neighbor in 1870, and is now an intensely diverse neighborhood of perhaps 100,000 residents. Milton was founded in 1662 on land ceded by Dorchester, has […]

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1832 map of Ipswich Village, Massachusetts

First separately printed map of Ipswich Village, Massachusetts

A detailed and very rare plan of the village of Ipswich Massachusetts in the early 1800s. The plan provides a street plan, names landowners, and identifies landmarks such as businesses, churches, schools, and other public buildings, with many of these shown in miniature profile view. The latter feature gives the map added documentary value, as […]

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A rare and early map of Dover New Hampshire

An immensely detailed view of Dover New Hampshire in the early 19th century. In addition to its intrinsic rarity, this is remarkable as one of the very few printed plans of New Hampshire towns issued prior to 1850. The print consists in fact of two maps. At left is a map of the town on […]

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William Coffin Map of the Town of Nantucket 1834

Very fine Map of the Town of Nantucket by William Coffin

A striking, historically significant, and very rare plan of Nantucket in 1834, when it was near its peak as the whaling capital of the United States as well as one of its wealthiest towns. The plan The plan is based on surveys conducted by William Coffin, Jr. a scion of one of Nantucket’s oldest and […]

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BRM2607 Leominster Mass ca 1831_lowres

The first printed map of Leominster Massachusetts

A fine and extremely rare map depicting the human and natural geography of the town of Leominster in Worcester County, Massachusetts. The map provides an immensely detailed view of the town in the early 1800s, including the its boundaries, the road network, and features of the natural topography (with symbols for woodlands, and shading employed […]

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The State House on fire!

A view of the Massachusetts State House in flames, adorning a certificate of service in the Boston Fire Department. The fire in question occurred in 1832 and affected the third floor as well as the tower. Due to the Fire Department’s (relatively) rapid response damage was limited, and the repairs amounted to only $3500. The […]

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