Handsomely Executed Iowa Pocket Map with an Emphasis on Railroads

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329. [MAP]. MILLS & CO. Mills & Co’s. New Rail Road Post Office and Sectional Map of Iowa Published by Mills & Co. Des Moines Iowa 1882. [lower left above border] Mills Co. Engravers, Stationers and Map Publishers. Des Moines, Iowa. [2 untitled vignettes at left: Uniformed soldier carrying U.S. flag and the Old Capitol at Iowa City]; [vignette at lower right] The New Capital [sic] of Iowa. [key and symbols at right: railroads completed and proposed, stations, boundaries, county seats, post offices for non-platted towns] References. Des Moines, 1882. Lithograph map on banknote paper, original full and outline color in red (Congressional districts) and green (counties), ornate border, border to border: 61.5 x 92.5 cm; overall sheet size: 63.3 x 95.2 cm; folded into publisher’s original green cloth pocket covers (16 x 12.2 cm), upper cover decorated in gilt and with gilt lettering: Mills and Cos. New Railroad, Post-Office and Sectional Map of Iowa 1882. Accompanied by text: Post-Office Index to Mills & Co.’s 1881 Railroad and Post-office Map of Iowa. [1] 2-18, [2] pp. Map: A few minor splits at folds (no losses), overall exceptionally fine with vivid color. Pocket covers: Lightly rubbed, but generally very fine. Front pastedown with contemporary blue printed library label of B.D. Smith, overlaying earlier label, and contemporary ink signature of J.D. Smith on front free endpaper.

     First edition. Rumsey 5404. OCLC locates copies at the Huntington Library, Knox College (Galesburg, Illinois), New York Public Library. Newberry also has a copy. After immigrants began to pour into Iowa in the 1850s, concern for adequate transportation was a major problem, not only for passengers, but also for agricultural and other products. Given the severe winters of the region, steamboats and stagecoaches were not always reliable in the depths of winter. Iowans, like other Midwesterners, caught railroad fever, and Council Bluff was reached by 1867. In the sixties and seventies, the railroads changed the region, making it possible to have year-round shipment of agricultural products and encouraging manufacture and industrial pursuits, such as the creation of an oat mill in Cedar Rapids in 1873, which eventually became part of the venerable Quaker Oats firm. In the present, beautifully engraved map we see a strong network of railroads across the entire state: completed, proposed, and in progress.

     The Old Capitol shown at lower left on the map suffered a disastrous fire in 2001, in which much of the exterior was ruined, including the cupola.


Sold. Hammer: $250.00; Price Realized: $306.25.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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