THE FIRST PUBLISHED CEROGRAPHIC MAPS

 

$1,500

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AUTHOR:

MORSE, SIDNEY, AND SAMUEL BREESE

TITLE:

The Cerographic Atlas of the United States... [part 1]

CONDITION:

Sixteen black and white maps printed back-to-back on eight sheets, with some browning and staining. Bound in original blue publisher’s wrappers, with loss to front wrapper.

DATE:

New-York, 1842

DESCRIPTION:

A rare and important survivor in the field of cartography, the separately-issued first part of Morse and Breese’s Cerographic Atlas. A second part with 20 maps on 10 sheets appeared later, and the two parts were published together as Morse’s North American Atlas in 1845. The maps in this separately-issued first installment were the first to be published using the new method for reproducing and printing maps known as cerography.

Cerography, or wax engraving, was a much more expeditious and less expensive process than copper-plate engraving. Morse’s invention was a major technological breakthrough that had a great impact on American map publishing. Nearly three-quarters of all commercial atlases published in the United States between 1842 and 1950 used this technique.

There is a lengthy account of cerography on the inside front cover of the wrapper. It notes that these maps are to be regarded as prototypes, not “as specimens of the best work that can be obtained from cerographic plates.” But the publisher describes at great length the virtues of the maps, which were based upon the official maps of the various states, and were updated with much new information, including “the names and boundaries of nearly one hundred counties, not found on any other maps….”

The maps in this first installment are devoted to Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, Connecticut (the first constructed), New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama, New York, City of New York, New York and Vicinity, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland and Delaware, Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa.

REFERENCES:

Inventory No. 13370

Cohen & Taliaferro

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