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Vintage World and Regional Maps of the 16th - 19th century

The history of mapmaking, or cartography, reaches back to the dawn of civilization. The earliest known maps, more than 4300 years old, were etched onto clay tablets in ancient Babylon. While later Medieval maps were hand drawn and dominated by religious views, the art and science of cartography expanded greatly during the 15th and 16th centuries. By this time the technology of printing had been invented, making maps more widely available and with more detail.

During this so-called Age of Discovery, the crown kingdoms of Europe were looking to expand their political and economic might, and they needed maps to do it. Voyages by Columbus and other explorers were mapped for further exploration and so that discoveries claimed by the empires were held as hard copy documentation. Mapmakers were now able to produce more accurate navigational charts and developed more precise tools for surveying as well as determining longitude and latitude. Coastlines, rivers, and harbors could now be included, and, as a result, many maps were treated as national secrets for use in diplomatic, economic, and military missions, and the production and distribution of maps was tightly controlled. The first world map was published in 1569 based on a new cylindrical projection, with others following soon thereafter. Aerial photography following World War II brought maps a step further in development until the current satellite technology rendered the old maps as antique. Now collectors’ items, vintage map prints capture a bygone era of history.

These vintage maps of discovery and exploration provide a snapshot of the exciting Age of Discovery. They are reproduction keepsakes of art, science, and history.

Panoramic or "Bird’s-Eye View" Mapping

Traveling map artists, or view artists as they are often called, were in high demand in the 19th century. Many of the view artists who spent their early careers sketching city views in the Midwest were called to the West Coast in their later years, as cities often used the bird’s-eye view maps as marketing tools or as guides for prospective settlers. Beginning in 1866 with the likes of Albert Ruger and enjoying huge popularity in the next 25 years, the era of panoramic views slowed in the last decade of the 19th century, and officially came to a close in 1926, when O.H. Bailey retired.

Panoramic Map Artists

Below are short descriptions or names of a few of the more prolific or well-known bird’s-eye view artists/publishers/printers of the time.

Oakley Hoopes Bailey (O.H. Bailey) (1843-1947)
Artist-Publisher-Lithographic Printer
Born in Beloit, Ohio, O.H. Bailey served a four-month stint in the Civil War and graduated from Mount Union College In 1864. He joined his brother Howard Heston Bailey (H.H. Bailey) in business and followed him into the world of view making that would last 56 years. Surpassed only by Thaddeus M. Fowler in volume of work, Bailey managed to produce around 375 city views, a bulk of which were towns in Masachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. His first print was published in 1871, and most are in black and white. During his storied career, he formed various partnerships with the likes of H.H. Bailey, T.R. Fowler, J.C. Hazen (with whom he generated his greatest output), and Thomas J. Hughes, under the imprint of Hughes & Bailey. A prolific view artist, O.H. Bailey defined himself as both an artist as well as operator of his own lithographic printing company.

Lucien Rinaldo Burleigh (L.R. Burleigh) (1853-1923)
Artist-Publisher-Lithographic Printer
Lucien Burleigh graduated from the Worcester Technical Institute in 1875 as a civil engineer and went on to employment as a view artist in Milwaukee. Early city views published between 1883 and 1886 tell researchers that Burleigh drew on zinc plates and sent them to be printed in Cleveland or Milwaukee. His first view was published in 1882 by Vogt, a printer in Cleveland. His later views were published by H.H. Rowley & Co. and D. Mason & Co. As artist-publisher-printer, he not only drew his views, but published and printed many of them as well. His views included most of those from New York and Vermont. Works of other artists printed by L.R. Burleigh included New England towns by George Norris and New York views, possibly by Christian Fausel. All in all, 228 lithographic views have Burleigh’s name stamped on themýÿ approximately 120 of which were drawn by Burleigh himself.

Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler (1842-1922)
Artist-Publisher
After learning photography during the Civil War, Thaddeus Fowler moved on to Madison, WI to join his uncle’s photography studio. Thaddeus Fowler soon relocated to Chicago to become an assistant/agent to famed bird’s-eye view artist Albert Ruger and then branched out on his own. Fowler became well known as one of the country’s most productive map artists and formed partnerships with other leading bird’s-eye view publishers and artists, including J.J. Stoner, H.H. Bailey, O.H. Bailey, and J.B. Moyer. Some of his maps were published under various imprints, including Fowler & Browning, Fowler & Kelly, and Fowler & Albert E. Downs. As the sketch artist for almost 250 maps of Pennsylvania between 1872 and 1922, he also churned out at least 17 views of cities in Texas between 1890 and 1891. He produced 426 views in total, the most of any other view artist.

Eli Sheldon Glover (American, 1845ýÿ 1919)
Artist-Publisher-Printer
Eli Glover began his career in bird’s-eye view maps as a subscription agent for, and assistant to, Albert Ruger, a prolific mapmaker of over 250 prints. As a former employee of a printing firm with a follow-up stint as a teacher, he also pursued a commercial course in drawing and painting. Glover later became an apprentice to Ruger. In 1868, Glover established his own firm, the Merchants Lithographic Company in Chicago, which served as publisher and/or printer to many panoramic views, including those of Albert Ruger. Following the destruction of his printing business in the Chicago Fire of 1871, he began his own career as a traveling artist for maps. He produced 62 bird’s-eye maps, including many Michigan views. Upon moving to Salt Lake City in 1874, he traveled the western regions of the country, drawing bird’s-eye views for various cities in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Washington state, including Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Port Townsend, Walla Walla, and also Victoria and Vancouver, Canada.

Augustus Koch (1840 - ?)
Artist
Born in Birnbaum, Prussia, Augustus Koch later immigrated to the United States. Serving in the Union Army as a draughtsman in the Engineer’s Office, he later moved on to do view maps, although not much is known about how that came to pass. Koch’s first views were published circa 1868 by J.J. Stoner, with whom he worked until 1873. Merchants Lithographic Company in Chicago printed his first two city views. He became one of the most well traveled artists of his time, traversing the country as far as California. Known as one of the ten most productive view artists, about 110 lithographs have Koch’s name imprinted on them.

Henry P. Moore (unknown life span)
Artist-Photographic Copying Business
Henry Moore had just a short career in view maps, which begin in 1854. Between 1854 and 1860, he published 12 maps, all of which depicted cities in Vermont and New Hampshire, with only one of Ogdensburg, New York. He later went on to operate a photographic copying business in Concord, New Hampshire, where he invented and patented the silvertype process.

James B. Moyer (a.k.a. J.B. Moyer)
Artist-Publisher
Moyer linked up with artist Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler to publish a plethora of views under the name T.M. Fowler & J.B. Moyer. Most all of Fowler’s views between 1894 and 1896 were published under this partnership brand. Together the two partners published about 250 views of Pennsylvania, most drawn by Fowler. Moyer may have served in the capacity of both business partner and artist. He also had an association with O.H. Bailey, where the two of them published under the name Bailey & Moyer.

George E. Norris (1855-1926)
Artist-Publisher
Unlike some of his contemporaries, George Norris began his career as publisher, before self-publishing his own view drawings in 1883. His business associations included Albert Poole and, later, Henry Wellge. His two-year association with Wellge brought about 50 views of communities in seven states, most of which Wellge drew, but some that probably came from Norris’ hand. They operated together as Norrs & Welge and also as Norris, Welge, & Co. Norris later went out on his own as both artist and publisher of his own works, many of which depicted New England towns in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine. As the last well-known entity to enter the arena of view publishing, he produced around 135 views.

Albert Ruger (1829 ýÿ 1899)
Artist-Publisher
An emigree from Prussia, Albert Ruger is known as the first successful panoramic artist. He began his foray into map-making by drawing views of Union campsites while serving with the Ohio Volunteers during the Civil War. Thereafter, he returned to settle in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he began his career by sketching Michigan cities. Later in the 1860’s, he joined J.J.Stoner of Madison, Wisconsin to publish numerous city panoramas. In addition to prolific maps of urban communities in 24 states (from Minnesota to New Hampshire to Alabama) and in Canada, he also produced university campus views, including Notre Dame and the University of Michigan. In all, he turned out about 254 panoramic views.

Joseph John Stoner (a.k.a. J.J. Stoner) (1829-1917)
Publisher
As with a few of the other leading map artists of the time, J.J. Stoner began his career around 1868 under the tutelage of successful panoramic artist Albert Ruger by serving in the capacity of assistant and business agent. Known more as a publisher, Stoner formed some form of publishing relationship with Ruger in 1869, of which the exact nature is still unclear. However, their names appear jointly on many of the panoramic views, including over a dozen views of Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Minnesota. J.J. Stoner became a successful publisher in Madison, Wisconsin, with about 314 lithographs bearing his name.

Henry Wellge (1850 ýÿ 1917)
Artist-Publisher
Henry Wellge originally hailed from Germany and served as a former captain in the Russian army engineer corps. After immigrating to the United States, he eventually settled in Milwaukee to become one of the most prolific view artists of his time, producing over 150 view maps in his three-decade career that begin circa 1878. During this time, he criss-crossed Canada and the U.S. to 27 states and territories. His views of southern and Midwestern cities during the decade of 1880 are particularly interesting, as many artists ceased working at this time. During his career, he formed a business partnership with artist Goerge Norris and later ran his own publishing company under the name Henry Wellge and Co., with an imprint called the American Publishing Company.

Publishers / Printers

American Publishing Company
Publisher
Established in 1888 and operated until 1902, the American Pubilshing Company was an imprint of Henry Wellge & Co., owned by successful view artist Henry Wellge. This imprint published about 30 views, 17 of which were signed by Wellge. Most of the works were produced in large folio sizes to emphasize horizontal dimension and featured multiple colors (some dramatically so) and simple, ruled borders. These views included towns in the Midwest, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Virginia.

Bailey & Moyer
Publishers
As the names would indicate, Bailey & Moyer was a partnership of artist O.H. Bailey and business associate, sometimes artist, James B. Moyer.

Beck and Pauli
Printer
Beck and Pauli were Milwaukee printers used almost exclusively by view artists Henry Wellge, J.J. Stoner, and others. Beck & Pauli shared the same address as Henry Wellge & Co., the publishing firm run by Henry Wellge.

Burleigh Litho. Co.
Publisher-Printer
Established and operated by accomplished view artist Lucien Burleigh, the firm turned out not only Burleigh’s work, but those of others as well. Works of other artists printed by L.R. Burleigh included New England towns by George Norris and New York views, possibly by Christian Fausel. All in all, 228 lithographic views have Burleigh’s name stamped on themýÿ approximately 120 of which were drawn by Burleigh himself.

Chicago Lithographing Company
Printer
Preceding the establishment of Merchants Lithographic, Chicago Lithographing Company established itself in 1864 through the partnership of Otto Knirsch, Louis Kurz, and Edward Carqueville. In operation until the Chicago Fire of 1871, the firm printed most of Albert Ruger’s earlier views in the 1860’s and many of Thomas Beckman.

Currier & Ives
Printer
The firm had its origins in various incarnations of Nathaniel Currier’s partnerships, first as Currier & Stodart, a job printing shop, then on his own as N. Currier, Lithographer, and later with James Merritt Ives, who then became full partner and general manager in 1857. Well-known still today, Currier & Ives was the most successful lithographic printing firm of its time in 19th-century America. Known as the “publishers of cheap and popular pictures,” the firm sold retail and wholesale. Not only did they print picturesque scenes of rural life, animals, and sports, Currier and Ives produced distinctive views of large cities that other mapmaking firms, usually specializing in small cities and towns, did not. The company dissolved in 1907, after being passed to two offspring and finally to an employee, who could no longer continue due to health issues.

Hughes & Bailey
Publisher
A publishing partnership of artists Thomas J. Hughes and O.H. Bailey, Hughes & Bailey produced about 40 lithographs, beginning in 1904, including work of successful view artist T. M. Fowler. Addresses of the firm range from New York, Boston, and Brooklyn, and the last view published from this partnership appeared in 1926.

Merchants Lithographic Company
Publisher-Printer
Eli Sheldon Glover established the Merchants Lithographic Company in Chicago in 1868. Serving as both publisher and/or printer to many of the bird’s-eye view map artists of the time, Merchants Lithographic printed at least 15 of Albert Ruger’s views in 1870 alone. The Chicago Fire destroyed Merchants Lithographic in 1871, and Mr. Sheldon went on to become a traveling panoramic artist in his own right.

O.H. Bailey & Co.
Publisher-Printer
A business formed by famed artist Oakley Hoopes Bailey, it is not always clear whether his lithographs where printed in house or elsewhere. Those views with the addition of “lithographed” or “lith” in the firm’s title may have been drawn by Bailey but printed by another company.

Ruger & Stoner
Artists-Publisher-Printer
A kind of partnership was formed by artists J.J. Stoner and Albert Ruger in 1869. The exact nature of the business relationship is unclear, however, their names appear together as publisher, printer, and/or co-artists on many panoramic works between 1869 and 1871.

Norris & Wellge
Publisher
When Albert F. Poole and George E. Norris decided to part ways as business associates for Poole & Norris, Henry Wellge stepped in to replace Poole as the artist partner and formed a new company with Norris, aptly titled Norris & Wellge, which originally based itself in Brockton, Massachusetts. The partnership eventually moved to Milwaukee in 1885, where it then became Norris & Wellge, and Co. The partnership published at least 40 panoramic views in its two years in Milwaukee, with at least 75 percent of them bearing Wellge as the artist.

Poole & Norris
Publisher
In 1883, Albert F. Poole and George E. Norris formed a partnership in New Hampshire, where Norris served as partner and business agent of Poole, the artist member of the duo. Together, they published 10 views of New Hampshire communities. The following year, Norris published some of his own as well.

Wellge and Co.
Publisher
Following the successful Milwaukee partnership of George E. Norris and Henry Wellge under the identity of Norris & Wellge, Norris returned to New England, leaving the business to Wellge. The firm then became Henry Wellge and Co., which also had an imprint known as the American Publishing Co.

Sources:
BirdsEyeViews.org
New York Public Library
University of Washington Libraries
Views and Viewmakers of Urban America: Lithographs of Towns and Cities in the United States and Canada, Notes on the Artists and Publishers, and A U (Hardcover) by John Reps (Author)
CurrierPrints.com

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