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Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 8:07pm Categories: Uncategorized

Richman’s Official Road Map. Made by The Foreman-Bassett Company of Cleveland, Ohio circa 1935. Distributed by Richman Brothers, Inc.

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...

Continue reading "A Map to Sell Suits and Overcoats"...
Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 6:59pm Categories: Uncategorized

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....

Continue reading "A World Made of Music"...
Friday, July 18, 2014 - 2:29pm Categories: Uncategorized

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.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 4:13pm Categories: Uncategorized

Чикаго [Chicago]. Compiled by E. M. Kolokoltseva, edited by L. I. Komarov. Published by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1961.

During the Cold War the Soviet Union created detailed maps of other parts of the world, including the United States. The US can hardly complain, though, as the US Army Map Service and its subsequent organizations mapped at the same time plenty of foreign countries themselves. The Soviet maps were highly classified, but began to leak out of Russia shortly after the breakup of the Eastern Bloc.

This map of the Chicago area was not a...

Continue reading "Чикаго [Chicago]"...
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 3:46pm Categories: Uncategorized

By guest blogger Diana Rivera

Chicana/o Latina/o Studies Subject Specialist, Michigan State University Libraries

The area known as New Mexico was previously part of the Spanish crown and then Mexico where over 140 land grants were issued between 1692 and 1846 (Williams, 104). These grants provided individuals, towns and groups land and water rights for private and communal use primarily along the Rio Grande river basin. After the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, Mexico ceded almost half of its land for $15,000,000 in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty...

Continue reading "[Contested] Territory of New Mexico, 1903"...
Monday, March 10, 2014 - 2:39pm Categories: Uncategorized
Dissected Outline Map of the United States of America (with flags of the world on the back). Made in Springfield, Mass. by Milton Bradley Co., between 1912 and 1932.


Parker Brothers’ United States Puzzle Map. Made in Salem, Massachusetts by Parker Brothers in 1915 or later.

Adorable kittens and country landscapes came later - the first puzzles emerged in the mid-18th century in the form of dissected maps created as educational tools for children. The oldest puzzles were made of wood. Cardboard maps were eventually developed as less expensive alternatives, but...

Continue reading "Early 20th Century Map Puzzles"...
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 6:40pm Categories: Uncategorized
Race and Occupation of immigrants by destination. Also the yearly increase and decrease of each state’s proportion and the number.

This map is an interesting early attempt to embed complex statistical information into map form. It shows us the countries of origin of new immigrants to each state and the occupations of the adult male immigrants (women and children were categorized as “no occupation”). Michigan saw the influx of 20,920 immigrants that year with the largest groups coming from Finland, Scandinavian countries, and Poland.

The report’s author, Sargent, was no friend...

Continue reading "Race and occupation of immigrants to the U.S. for the year 1903"...
Monday, December 30, 2013 - 12:11pm Categories: Uncategorized
Carte pour servir a l'Itineraire pittoresque du Fleuve Hudson et des Parties laterales de L'Amerique du Nord. Made in 1826 by J. Milbert. Made for the book Itinéraire Pittoresque du Fleuve Hudson et des Parties Laterales published in Paris by Henri Gaugain in 1828.

Long before the concept of ‘invasive species’ was established, naturalists such as Jacques Milbert combed the exotic American landscape for novel plants to share with the Old Country. Milbert's skill as a landscape artist is apparent in his 2-volume travel journal and ‘atlas’ of sketches which was published after his return...

Continue reading "Water Routes to Michigan"...
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 7:33pm Categories: Uncategorized
Carte du Canada. By Claude LeBeau. Taken from his book, Avantures du Sr. C. Le Beau which was published in Amsterdam in 1738.

This map is clearly copied directly from a larger map made in 1698 by Father Louis Hennepin. Le Beau could have chosen any number of newer and more accurate maps to illustrate his story, but he or his publisher chose this 40-year old map.

LeBeau was a bored clerk working in an office in New France. He was no mapmaker and no explorer, but rather an exile banished from France for being a “libertine.” LeBeau escaped his fate and hitched a ride back to...

Continue reading "LeBeau copy of Hennepin, 1738"...
Monday, August 26, 2013 - 8:31pm Categories: Uncategorized
Map of the States of Ohio, Indiana & Illinois and Part of Michigan Territory: Compiled from the Latest Authorities. Drawn by D.H. Vance, engraved by J. H. Young. Published in Philadelphia by A. Finley in 1825.

This map wonderfully illustrates a point in time when the states made from the Northwest Territory were only partly formed and partially surveyed and subdivided. One can see how the most detailed survey work commenced along the Ohio, Mississippi and Detroit Rivers and spread up and out to the hinterlands.

Here we see Michigan beginning to take a more modern shape. As the...

Continue reading "1825 Map of the American West"...


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