WELCOME 19th Century Pennsylvania Maps WELCOME

The Checklist of Pennsylvania Maps ends here, and from here on the map lists are not inclusive.

The period from 1790 to 1830 saw the beginning and development of the American map industry. The early maps were uncolored. Hand coloring, done primarily by women on a production line basis using stencils, started circa 1820. Commercial maps with printed color began appearing circa 1850.

Around mid-century came the classic county wall map which led directly to the classic county atlas . From the 1860s to the end of the century, the county atlas became a best selling item for publishers. They would solicit subscriptions for an atlas and if enough people signed up, go ahead and make one. A county wall map and atlas was published for most Pennsylvania counties. A notable history of 19th century map publishing is American Maps and Mapmakers by W. W. Ristow.

The first atlases of the state were published in the 1800's including the following:

State Book of Pennsylvania Containing an Account of the Geography, History, Government, Resources and Noted Citizens of the State; with a Map of the State and of each County, by Thomas H. Burrowes; Uriah Hunt & Son, Philadelphia 1846. This 314 page book was intended as a school geography, however the 50 or so state and county maps make it an atlas also.

The Geology of Pennsylvania, 1858. This two volume work was published privately by the Chief Geologist of the First Geological Survey of Pennsylvania, Henry Rogers, because of a lack of state support. The illustrations and maps were engraved by W. & A. K. Johnston of Edinburgh, William Blackwood & Sons of Edinburgh printed the quarto volumes, and they were sold in the United States by Lippincott, a Philadelphia publisher. This work is not strictly an atlas. It had only two regular maps, the rest were geological section maps; but it was the most detailed description yet of Pennsylvania topography.

Atlas of Pennsylvania with Descriptions, by H. F. Walling and O. W. Gray, published by Stedman, Brown & Lyon, Philadelphia 1872 (LeGear L2995, L6140, P. 684-685 of Phillips). This is probably the best known state atlas. See The 1872 Atlas to view the pages.

Atlas of the County of Fayette and the State of Pennsylvania, from Actual Surveys & Official Records, compiled & published by G. M. Hopkins, Philadelphia 1872 (LeGear L3035). This county atlas is representative of several to which Hopkins added a state map plus a sheaf of 9 large scale regional maps covering the entire state; so it can be called a state atlas also. Hopkins did this with several other county atlases including Butler, Mercer, and Montgomery counties. Usually county atlases included just a single state map and single county map, and so were not 'state' atlases.

Geological Atlas of Counties - X, by J. P. Lesley, published by the Board of Commissioners for the Second Geological Survey, Harrisburg 1885 (LeGear L2996). This atlas included a state map and 61 county maps showing the geology of the state. Images from this atlas can be seen at Pennsylvania Geology at Penn State. The Survey published other atlases summarizing their work, including County Geological Maps 1885, and The Grand Atlas 1885 (LeGear L2997), and they published a large number of detailed reports containing regional maps.

The maps are organized by decades as shown by the links below. The century is assumed to begin in 1800 and end in 1899. Similarly a decade begins at 1820, say, and ends in 1829. At least one map is shown for each year. A quick tour of 19th century maps chronologically can be made in this slideshow .

1800's 1810's 1820's 1830's 1840's 1850's 1860's 1870's 1880's 1890's

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