When Philadelphia Was Bigger Than Texas

Mammoth Map

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241. [MAP]. BAIST, G[eorge] W[illiam]. Baist’s Map of Philadelphia and Environs Compiled from Actual Surveys and Official Records by G. Wm. Baist Topographical Engineer 906 Walnut St. Philadelphia. 1889. [note above neat line at top left] This is a Standard Map—New Editions Will be Printed & Corrected to the Date of Issue from Actual Surveys &c. Property Owners, Real Estate Men, Engineers, Contractors and others, largely interested in having a Perfect Map of this kind are respectfully invited to cooperate with the Publisher in preserving its accuracy in future editions by furnishing early information respecting additions or changes in their Property. Also of Detail of newly projected Roads &c. [top left, below neat line, publisher’s ad with illustrations of surveying instruments, petite map of Philadelphia, William Penn in 1682 making a real estate deal with the Delaware tribe] G. Wm. Baist Topographical Engineer. Author and Publisher of Atlases and Maps, Private Plans Compiled and Drawn or Reproduced &c. &c...906 Walnut Street... [below ad, Baist’s copyright notice] Important. Being the Author of this map, and having obtained a copyright thereon... [below copyright notice, key to symbols for streets, railroads, distances, etc.] Explanations... [inset maps, clockwise from top left]: [1] Enlarged Map of Properties along the North Penna. R.R. [2] Enlarged Plan of Properties along the Penna. R.R. from Elm to Upton Sta. [3] Enlarged Plan of Properties along the Penna. R.R. Overbrook to Elm Sta. and Vicinity to Bala Sta. [4] Enlarged Plan of the Vicinity of Darby, Lansdowne & Clifton Heights. [below lower right neat line] Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1889 by G. Wm. Baist in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington D.C. [below neat line at lower right, repeated note at upper left] This is a Standard Map.... Philadelphia, 1889. Lithograph map on two sheets, each mounted, as issued, on cartographical cloth, original outline color and shading; 2 sheets measuring approximately 131 x 94 cm (51-1/2 x 37 inches): overall sheet size: approximately 131 x 188 cm (51-1/2 x 74 inches), folded into publisher’s original dark purple blind-embossed covers (43.5 x 32.5 cm), gilt lettering on upper cover: Baist’s Map of Philadelphia and Environs Published by G. Wm. Baist. No. 906 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Map: old staining to cartographical linen on verso of left sheet (barely visible on map proper); overall, the map is very fine with excellent color retention. Covers: spine slightly chipped with a few voids, corners slightly frayed and bumped, overall very good.

     First edition. Not in Phillips (America), who lists other Baist maps. Purely as an example of mapmaking, this grand map is exceptional in execution. This an extremely large, highly detailed map in of Philadelphia and environs, locating political wards, towns, major and minor roadways, property owners, post offices, churches, railroads, and waterways. Circular markings compute mileage from the center of Philadelphia. A nice touch is the little image in Baist’s ad at the top showing William Penn buying Philadelphia from the Delaware in 1682. In his discussion of real estate maps and atlases, Ristow notes that George William Baist (1859-1927) in Philadelphia was the most active producer of real estate maps in the U.S., comparable in output to Sanborn’s insurance maps (American Maps and Mapmakers, p. 261). Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers (revised edition), Vol. I, p. 71.


Sold. Hammer: $325.00; Price Realized: $398.13.

Auction 23 Abstracts


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