On April 1, 1840 Michigan’s governor approved the creation of 30 new counties to fill in the recently surveyed northern Lower Peninsula. The counties didn’t fit on old 1830s style maps. The Bradford map on the left forces Grand Traverse County (called ‘Ometna’ here) to be landlocked and Grand Traverse Bay is in Charlevoix County (called ‘Keskkauko’ here). The Tanner map on the right used new geography to map the counties (more or less) correctly. Both maps misspelled numerous county names from those approved by the legislature.
Many of the names, which had been proposed by Superintendent of Indian Affairs Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, didn't persist. Of local native origin, the names were found to be too complicated for English speakers. Sixteen counties’ names changed again on March 8, 1843.
These maps will be on exhibit in the MSU Map Library starting April 1, 2015.
Michigan. Drawn by David H. Burr. Published in New York by D. H. Burr in 1831. This map is included in the physical exhibit to show how the counties were distributed prior to 1840. For a closer look, see the Full Scanned Map.
Michigan. By T. G. Bradford, George W. Boynton, and Earl W. De La Vergne. Published in Boston by T.G. Bradford around 1842. For more information see, the Full Scanned Map.
A new map of Michigan with its canals, roads & distances. By H.S. Tanner and engineered by E.B. Dawson. Published in Philadelphia by Carey & Hart, around 1841.
For more information, see the Full Scanned Map.
Maps were no longer just for kings and scholars. By the late 1500s, maps were increasingly purchased by ‘regular’ (though still fairly wealthy) people. After all, everyone was interested in the voyages of discovery and exploration going on at this time. European map makers now had enough dribbles of information to piece together world maps based largely on observation rather than on myth.
Ortelius gathered information from many different sources for this world map. The Americas are here, and even part of Australia. Monsters and the worst errors are pressed into parts of the world farthest from Europe: The Antarctic coast and the Pacific Ocean.
This map appeared in the World’s first modern atlas. Though expensive, the publication was wildly successful. In several editions published 1570 to 1641, about 3,000 copies were made in several languages. This particular map was in the 1588 Spanish-language edition of the atlas.
A sea monster menaces a European caravel off the coast of Baja California
The full image is viewable here. This map will be on exhibit in the MSU Map Library starting November 24, 2014. It was purchased with funds gifted by the late Dr. David Campbell.
Citation: Typus Orbis Terrarum. Made by Abraham Ortelius. From the atlas Theatro de la Tierra Universal. Published in Antwerp in 1588.
Ortelius Atlas Maps: An Illustrated Guide. 2nd rev. ed. Written by Marcel Van den Broecke and published in Houten, Netherlands in 2011.
Commercial Cartography and Map Production in the Low Countries, 1500 – ca. 1672. Written by Cornelis Koeman, Gunter Schilder, Marco van Egmond, and Peter van der Krogt. In the book, The History of Cartography, vol. 3: Cartography in the European Renaissance, Part 2. Edited by David Woodward and published in Chicago by the University of Chicago Press in 2007.
Gas stations weren’t the only place to get free road maps in the early 20th century. This map of the U.S. Midwest was distributed by the menswear clothing chain Richman Brothers.
Though the map is undated, we can confidently place it in the mid-1930s because of the price of the suits. Richman’s had simple pricing: From fall 1933 to spring 1937, $22.50 could buy you any suit or overcoat in the store ($412 by today’s prices). The style of the automobile also gives us a clue to the map’s date.
Richman Brothers was an innovative and progressive company. Their own factory in Cleveland manufactured all their products. Gifts of company stock and no-interest loans for home purchases were just some of the worker-friendly practices implemented by the three Richman brother founders.
Lansing, Michigan was home to a Richman’s store from 1921 to 1984, located on S. Washington, downtown.
Citation: Richman’s Official Road Map. Made by The Foreman-Bassett Company of Cleveland, Ohio circa 1935. Distributed by Richman Brothers, Inc.
This map will be on exhibit in the MSU Map Library starting October 30, 2014. It was a generous gift of Charles Schoenknecht and Ward A. Paul.
This world map is composed entirely of musical notation. It was created with the intention of viewing the world in musical terms. Specifically, as a symbol and model of harmony, or as the author prefers, ‘common threads.’ The entire composition is scored for 37 instruments and contains a total of 32 measures. The total playing time is approximately 40 seconds.
Wondering what it sounds like? This YouTube video performs the piece.
(detail from map)
Citation; World Beat Music. Made (and composed) by James Plakovic. Published in New York by MusicArt in 1996.
The map will be on exhibit in the MSU Map Library starting August 14, 2014.
Donetsk. From Ukraïna, [topohrafichna karta]: 1:200 000. Published in Kiev by ViĭsʹKovo-kartohrafichna Fabryka in 1997.
This detailed map of Donetsk Oblast shows the area where Malaysian flight 17 went down approximately 14:15 Greenwich Mean Time on Thursday July 17th, 2014.
This map will be on display in the MSU Map Library starting Friday July 18th, 2014.
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