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Pennsylvania in Early Pocket Maps 1875 - 1899

1875 SMITH’S NEW MAP OF PHILADELPHIA AND VICINITY, Compiled from the Latest Surveys and Records. Published by J. L. Smith, 27 South Sixth St. Philadelphia 1875. The emphasis is on 'vicinity' as this map extends north past Norristown, south to include Chester and west past West Chester and Media to Downingtown. However, the scale is large enough to show all downtown streets, though some are not named. The map shows roads and rail lines and is linen backed. It folds into a 6 x 4 inch dark brown hard cover with the same title as above. On the inside cover is an ad. In this copy, the spine is gone and the front cover separated, but the map is in decent shape due to the backing. Blank verso. Scale: 1 inch = 1 mile. Size: 26 x 42 inches.
1877 PENNSYLVANIA. Copyright 1877 by J. H. Butler & Co. Drawn & Engraved by J. M. Atwood, Philadelphia. This map folds into a 6 x 3.75 inch gilded and embossed cover with the title 'Map of Pennsylvania.' The inside front cover says it is from Mitchell’s New Intermediate Geography, Pennsylvania Edition; another instance of a previous plate being used to produce a pocket map. Lackawanna County is shown which was not 'officially' created until 1878, so this map was likely prepared late in the year when the legislative struggle to give Scranton its own county was nearing an end. This copy is linen backed but still has a short crease tear. Blank verso, longitude from Washington at top, Greenwich at bottom. Scale: 1 inch = 20.5 miles. Size: 10 x 16 inches.
1879 MAP OF PENNSYLVANIA PREPARED EXPRESSLY FOR SMULL’S HAND BOOK. Lane S. Hart, State Printer, Harrisburg, Pa. This map is undated; Lackawanna County appears, so it dates after 1878 but probably not by much. Hart served as state printer until c1886, so the map dates c1879-86 and is dated 1879 here. It folds into a 5.5 x 3.5 inch greenish paper cover to which it is attached, although this was done by an owner since the cover is marked only in handwritten ink with the title 'Map of Pennsylvania Counties.' The inside is blank. The map illustrates railroads in heavy black line, with canals and roads in lighter line. The map is printed on regular paper since it was made to be folded into a volume of Smull's Hand Book as the title says. The layout, coloring and typeface make this an attractive map. Blank verso, longitude from Washington at top, Greenwich at bottom. Scale: 1 inch = 21 miles. Size: 10 x 16 inches.
1880 RAND, MCNALLY & CO'S PENNSYLVANIA. Rand, McNally & Co., Map Publishers and Engravers, Chicago, Copyright 1880. This is one of a series of ‘indexed pocket maps’ in a 6 x 3.5 inch reddish paper folder with the title 'Rand, McNally & Co.'s County and Railroad Map of Pennsylvania.' The map is printed in red and black on thin fragile paper and shows rail lines and many towns. On the inside front cover is an explanation of how the index works and on the back cover (also shown at far left) is a list of the other maps available in the series. This map is one of the series without the index that cost 25 cents rather than 50 cents. Blank verso, longitude from Washington at bottom, Greenwich at top. Scale: 1 inch = 17 miles. Size: 14 x 20.5 inches.
1881 SMITH’S NEW MAP OF PHILADELPHIA AND VICINITY, compiled from the latest surveys and records. Published by J. L. Smith, 27 South Sixth St. Philadelphia 1881. "Smith’s Map of Philadelphia and Vicinity' is the title on the brownish embossed cover. This pocket map was printed in 2 sheets, each 27 x 22 inches, then backed with linen and pasted into the 6 x 4 inch cover. The eastern sheet is on the back cover, and shows the Philadelphia area. The western sheet is on the front cover, and shows the suburbs to beyond West Chester. This copy has had some minor repairs and is in decent shape. Blank verso. Scale: 1 inch = 1 mile. Size: 27 x 22 inches (both sheets).
1888 NEW DRIVING MAP OF PHILADELPHIA AND VICINITY. Published by J. L. Smith, 27 South Sixth St., Phila. Pa. This linen backed pocket map folds into a hardback 6.25 x 4 inch black cover with the title ‘Smith’s Map of Philadelphia and Vicinity' embossed and gilded. Turnpikes, roads, railroads, canals, and even individual houses are shown along with a street grid of the city. Coach driving and bicycling were popular among the well off during the latter 19th century and at this date the dreaded automobile had not yet appeared. The map has become separated from the back cover and has some crease tears despite the backing, indicating someone made use of it. The inside front cover has a small piece of another map glued to it for some reason. Blank verso. Scale: 1 inch = 1 mile. Size: 26 x 22 inches.
1890 PENNSYLVANIA. The Jno. F. Waite Pub. Co., Engravers and Publishers, Chicago, Ill. This is an example of an atlas map that was repackaged as a pocket map for advertising. The cover reads 'Pocket Map of Pennsylvania. Compliments of Richards and Rickards, Oil City, Pa. General Hardware Merchants. Plumbing and pipe fitting tinns and sheet metal work of all kinds, stoves ranges and gas grates.' The map has printed color and folds into a brown 5.5 x 3 inch paper cover, which is tattered and split in two in this copy, though the map is in decent shape. The back cover has an illustration of an early 'water closet.' This map is undated; it appears circa 1890 and is so dated here. The inside cover has a further advertising message. Rail lines are shown but not roads. Blank verso, longitude from Washington at bottom, Greenwich at top. Scale: 1 inch = 16 miles. Size: 14 x 20 inches.
1891 MAP OF NORTHWESTERN PENNA. OIL FIELDS, Compiled from Original Surveys & Maps by Joseph Smith C.E. Titusville, Pa. 1890. Copyright secured , by Joseph Smith, 1891. This large map from Corry on the northwest to the Clarion River on the southeast is folded into a 9 x 5 inch black cardboard cover with the title above. The front cover is shown here, the back cover is missing and with it the eastern half of this very large map of the Pennsylvania oil fields. The map is paper on linen and in obvious poor condition. Besides the missing half, it is in pieces with the mating edges eroded, and it may be missing a section along the bottom also. It is a land survey map with the land divided into numbered blocks, apparently showing oil leases, which would indicate mineral rights only and not surface rights. Towns, roads, and railroads are shown. A considerable number of maps of varying types were made of the oil fields in the latter nineteeth century, this (when all there) being one of the largest. The 1859 Drake oil well was located just outside of Titusville, and today is a state park with museum. Blank verso. Scale: 1 inch = 1 miles. Size (half): 35 x 54 inches.
1892 THE MATTHEWS=NORTHRUP CO’S MAP OF PENNSYLVANIA. A Complete Series of Vest=Pocket Maps of Every State and Territory. Published by the Matthews=Northrup Co. Buffalo, N.Y. The verso of the map is dated 1892 and filled with state information: list of governors, colleges, manufactures, etc. Also on the verso, and opposite , is a history and description of the state. The map itself is titled “Map of Pennsylvania,” Copyright 1886 by Matthews, Northrup & Co., Art-Printing Works, Buffalo, N.Y., and folds into a 5.5 x 2.5 inch tri-fold red paper cover with the title above. It is printed on ordinary paper, which in this copy, is rather fragile. Counties are color coded and many towns and rail lines are shown. The inside cover contains ads for other books including 'Best Fifty Books of the Greatest Authors.' Longitude from Washington at bottom, Greenwich at top. Scale: 1 inch = 17 miles. Size: 12.5 x 20.5 inches.
1893 GEOLOGICAL MAP OF PENNSYLVANIA. By A. D. Smith, Assistant Geologist, under the direction of J. P. Lesley, State Geologist. 1893. Geological Survey of Pennsylvania, Final Report 1893. E. K. Meyers, State Printer. This large map folds into a 9.5 x 6 inch red hardboard cover to which it is attached. The cover is blank inside and has a sticker with J. L. Smith, Map Publisher, 27 South 6th Street, Phila. Pa. Smith was a prominent Philadelphia map seller of the time; he had taken over the business of R. L. Barnes. Whether Smith obtained this map, backed it with linen, and made it into a pocket map for sale; or whether he was doing this for the state is not known. The hand written note on the cover might indicate he was under contract to the state to make it. This map was the final consumate product of the Second Geological Survey and was the basis for all later geological maps of the state. It was issued in other forms besides this pocket map, of course. In addtion to geologic features shown by color, it includes counties, townships, towns, and rail lines. The map is too large to obtain a good likeness and another image is given here. Blank verso, longitude west from Greenwich. Scale: 1 inch = 6 miles. Size: 32 x 52.5 inches.
1895 RAILROAD MAP OF PENNSYLVANIA. Published by the Department of Internal Affairs, Pennsylvania 1895. Drawn and Compiled by J. Sutton Wall, Chief Draughtsman. This map shows the rail lines of the state using a color code. It is separate from its cover, folds up and slides into a slip cover within a 9.5 x 6 inch hardback black cover. The cover is blank inside except for a stamping. The Department of Internal Affairs began publishing this map (almost?) yearly in the late 1870s apparently based on the commercial map of similar name put out by O. W. Gray. Around 1890, J. Sutton Wall took over and made this map into one of the most attractive of the state ever made, and Wall's version continued to be published until about 1915. The map is quite large and is shown here in several views: northwest, northeast, southwest, southeast. This edition is printed on ordinary, though heavy, paper and is somewhat fragile, and the colors are faded. Blank verso. Scale: 1 inch = 6 miles. Size: 34 x 55 inches.
1896 POCKET MAP OF PENNSYLVANIA, with compliments of Samuel R. Park, A.M. Principal and Proprietor of the Easton Academy. This title is on the 5.5 x 3.5 inch brown paper cover, the map is titled simply ‘Pennsylvania’, with the maker as The Jno. F. Waite Pub. Co., Engravers and Publishers, Chicago, Ill. The map is undated and the date used here is from the calendar on the inside cover, although the printing might have been done a year earlier. This map is printed on regular paper and appears to be an atlas map used here for advertising, something a cheap pocket map is useful for. Another one issued for advertising is shown below. Today, an 'Easton Academy' features in a popular book series for young girls, but is not related to this institution which is now apparently gone. Aside from some small crease tears at the fold lines, this copy is in decent shape. Rail lines are prominently shown, but not roads. Blank verso, longitude west from Greenwich at top, from Washington at bottom. Scale: 1 inch = 17 miles. Size: 13 x 19.5 inches.
1897 DECHANT'S POCKET MAP OF READING AND VICINITY. 1897. Dechant Engineering, Surveying and Map Publishing Office, 536 Penn Street, Reading, Pa. This black & white tri-fold map folds into a 6 x 3 inch brown paper cover, and is a street map of Reading with lists of streets and businesses on the verso and a grid around the edge to locate them. There are ads on the front and one for bicycles inside ; a nice example of a pocket map used for local advertising. It is printed on regular paper and so rather fragile, perhaps a long life was not needed or expected. Scale: 1 inch = 2000 feet. Size: 18 x 22 inches.
1898 THE EMPIRE GROUP, A NEW RAILROAD, POST OFFICE, TOWNSHIP AND COUNTY MAP OF NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY AND PENNSYLVANIA WITH DISTANCES. Published by National Publishing Co., Boston 1898. This large map shows counties by color and townships within counties; roads are not shown. There is an inset of Long Island at the bottom. It folds into a 7 x 4 inch green hard cover with the same title as given above. It is printed on ordinary paper and this copy is in fair condition with some fold separation. The inside is blank. Other maps of this type from the same source have been seen for New England, the 'Middle States', and the mid-west, and there may be others. These maps were published up to about 1915. Blank verso. Scale: 1 inch = 13 miles. Size: 35 x 30 inches.
1899 MAP OF THE GIRARD ESTATE IN SCHUYLKILL & COLUMBIA COUNTIES PA. City of Philadelphia Trustee showing Topography Geology & Location of Collieries 1899. Heber S. Thompson, Engineer Girard Estate. To accompany the thirtieth annual report of the Directors of City Trusts – Philadelphia Dec. 31 1899. This is an example of a singular map presumably turned into a pocket map for some, now unknown, reason. There are two maps, one pasted on either side of the red 7 x 4 inch cover. The cover is embossed with 'Sunlight Almanac 1896,' which would indicate it has nothing to do with the map and this is a 'one-of-a-kind' pocket map made for personal use. The maps appear to cover the same region, around Mahanoy City in Schuylkill County, but with differing color schemes of land ownership. They are apparently meant to show properties owned by the trust and held for income. Blank verso, with a scale in perches. A perch was about 5.5 yards and was a measure commonly used in land survey. Scale: 1 inch = 200 perches. Size: 13.5 x 28 inches each.

Pocket Maps

1825 to 1874

1900 to 1925


Copyright 2011 by Harold Cramer. All rights reserved.


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