After the French & Indian War, the British began the project of mapping their vast, newly acquired lands in North America. The job of coordinating and publishing the surveys fell upon J.F.W. DesBarres, who had commanded the mapping of the coasts of eastern Canada. The resulting atlas, The Atlantic Neptune, was called by A.P. Loring "the first great marine atlas of the eastern seaboard," and Loring quotes Obadiah Rich, who called it "the most splendid collection of charts, plans and views ever published." This is a chart of the upper Delaware River from Wilmington to as far as a ship could safely float, i.e. to Trenton. Information is fairly sparse on the map because the designer was very selective about what to include. An occasional church or meeting house is shown and a few primitive town plans are depicted. Conventional symbols for swamps and waterways are shown for as much as ten miles inland. All copies of this map are characterized by a paucity of information, yet this chart would still serve to guide a ship up this narrow river. The map reflects the best British knowledge of the entrance to Philadelphia at the time of the war. $6,750
Joshua Fisher. "Baye De La Delaware." Paris: George Louis le Rouge, 1778. First state. 18 1/4 x 25. Engraving. Full margins. Strong strike on heavy paper. Excellent condition. Snyder: 265e.
The first chart of the Delaware Bay was made in 1756 by Joshua Fisher, a former hatter from Lewes. It showed the lower part of the bay and was intended to be used as a navigational aid for ships sailing toward Philadelphia. In 1775, Fisher produced an expanded chart that showed the bay and the Delaware River to just beyond Philadelphia. This was the most important map of the bay and river in the eighteenth century, and it went through many different versions, of which this is the first French version. In 1778, the French were allied with the Americans against the British, and much of their assistance took the form of naval support. Therefore it is not surprising that the French would issue their own version of the best available chart of the approaches to Philadelphia. The map is oriented to the west so that Philadelphia lies at the far right, and Cape Henlopen at the far left. Navigational information is copious in the bay, and the main shipping lane is indicated to Philadelphia, with depths indicated along it. A list of Pilots and Masters of Vessels attesting to the accuracy of the chart in included. Reflecting its source, most names appear in English, though Le Rouge has added a number of French translations. A superior chart of the approaches to Philadelphia at the beginning of the American Revolution. $2,600
Henry S. Tanner. "Philadelphia." Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1850. 15 3/4 x 12 3/4. Lithograph. Full original hand coloring. Some staining, otherwise good condition.
A crisp, detailed map of the city of Philadelphia by the great American cartographer, Henry Schenck Tanner. Beginning in 1819, Tanner published his American Atlas, which was a huge success. This inspired Tanner to produce his Universal Atlas, of more manageable size, which contained fine maps of each state and a number of cities. These maps were purchased by S. Augustus Mitchell, and then about 1850 by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., who continued to issue updated versions of the atlas.
This map of Philadelphia is an excellent example of Tanner's cartography. The city is shown from Kensington to Southwark, and from the Delaware to just into West Philadelphia. It illustrates and gives an index of the more important buildings in the city. The north-south running streets west of Penn Square are identified as Schuylkill Front to Eight Streets; these streets were later re-named counting from the Delaware. Another interesting aspect of this map is that the developed portions of the city have been shaded. This allows one to see the extent of the inhabited areas of the city at the time. Tanner's maps are always noted for their focus on transportation, and this map is no exception. It shows early rail line routes, canals, and indicates the ferry lines on the Delaware. An inset in the lower left gives a key to the city wards. Besides its fascinating detail, the map is most attractive, with its striking design enhanced by strong hand color. Overall, a most desirable map of the city. $275
R. L. Barnes. "Barnes' Driving Map of Philadelphia and Surroundings. From Surveys and Records by H. E. B. Taylor." Philadelphia: R.L. Barnes, 1867. 27 1/2 x 31 1/2. Separately issued lithograph. Decorative border as issued. Separated into 32 sections, hand colored and mounted on linen by Sheble, Smith & Co. ("successors to R.L. Barnes").
A wonderfully colored and very decorative map of Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. Major buildings, homes, streets and railroad lines are clearly and precisely delineated. What makes this map unusual and such a valuable document is the extent to which surrounding areas are rendered with the same detail and care as the center of the city. Many long-gone community names are illustrated, both within the city and in neighboring Pennsylvania counties and New Jersey. A beautiful map that gives us as well a wealth of information about the way Philadelphia looked in the middle of the nineteenth century. $600
John Reed. "To the Honourable House of Representatives of the Freemen of Pennsylvania this Map of the City and Liberties of Philadelphia With the Catalogue of Purchass is Humbly Dedicated by their most Obedient Humble Servant John Reed." Philadelphia: Charles L. Warner, -1870. Facsimile edition. Separately issued map, dissected into 20 sections and mounted onto linen for folding. 29 1/2 x 58 1/2. Lithograph by Worley & Bracher. Printed by Fred Bourquin. Very good condition. Snyder: 41b.
In 1774 John Reed published his detailed map of Philadelphia and its surrounding "Liberties" to confront the powers of the Penn family which he claimed had neglected the original grants of land to his family. Reed issued the map to illustrate a small book which he published to forward his claim, and as such it included detailed information about the land grants in the liberties. The resulting huge map was engraved on three plates by James Smither. The suit failed to gain him any land, but Reed did provide us with a remarkable document. The map shows information on the actual lay-out of the city at the time, and of the grants in the liberties, details not shown well on other maps of the period which tended to be more schematic, following Holme's projected grid plan. Reed's large, separately issued map is extremely rare, but fortunately there are a number of full size facsimiles, including this excellent lithograph issued in 1870. It provides us with a precious and detailed look at Philadelphia just before the American Revolution. $1,100
"Smith's New Map of Philadelphia and Vicinity." Philadelphia: J.L. Smith, 1875. Lithograph. Two part, separately issued folding map, with original gold stamped buckram front cover. Each part ca. 13 x 21. Wear and some small tears along folds. Some tape on reverse. Small stains. Else, very good condition.
A large map of Philadelphia and the regions to the north as far as North Wales, to the east as far as Moorestown, and to the west just beyond Downingtown. Major streets and some buildings are shown in the city, including the site of the Centennial celebration. Extensive information is given for the surrounding area, including roads, rivers, rail lines, mills, hotels, meeting houses, and myriad other geographic details,. Interestingly, the map errs by including Montgomery County's Cheltenham Township within the Philadelphia County line. $450
G[riffith] M[organ] Hopkins. Atlas of Philadelphia and environs: from official records, private plans, and actual surveys based upon plans deposited in the Department of Surveys surveyed & published under the direction of G.M. Hopkins, C.E., 320 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 1877. F. Bourquin Steam Lithographic Press, 31 South 6th Street, Philadelphia. Folio. Worn boards and spine; front hinge broken. Interior clean and complete (pp. 1-25, 28, 33-87; 50 colored maps). Includes historical sketch of Montgomery County. Moak, Atlases of Pennsylvania: 407.
Areas covered in this atlas:
"Plan of the City of Philadelphia and Camden." Philadelphia: S.A. Mitchell Jr., 1881. 14 1/2 x 22. Stone lithograph. Original hand color. Decorative grape vine border. Excellent condition.
At the end of the Civil War, Philadelphia was an impressive urban center, the fourth largest city in the world. Most of its important structures were located in what is now known as "Center City." This clear, colorful map focuses on that section, while including the City of Camden across the Delaware River and the area of West Philadelphia where significant expansion occurred in the 1860s and 70s. With the removal of the University of Pennsylvania from Center City to its present location there, and the preparations for the Centennial celebration in West Fairmount Park, West Philadelphia was quickly becoming urbanized. The map was published by S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., who had taken over his father's firm in 1860, maintaining the company as one of the largest cartographic firms in the world. The map depicts and names streets, rail lines, and major buildings. Each ward is colored in a contrasting pastel shade. $475
"Smith's Map of Philadelphia." Separately issued, folding map. Philadelphia: J.L. Smith, 1882. 20 5/8 x 23 3/4. Lithograph. Original printed color. Folding into original cloth cover. Excellent condition.
An interesting map of Philadelphia as it appeared shortly after the Centennial, highlighting ward divisions as they appeared between 1875 and 1888. The map delineates the city from Oregon Avenue on the south to the lower corner of Hunting Park on the north, up the Delaware River past Petty's Island to Port Richmond, and from the tip of Manayunk on the northwest down through Hestonville, Haddington and Angora to just south of Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Philadelphia – and Camden – wards are indicated both by color-coding and by numbering; the 26th ward (West Passyunk) is shown, but its number was not printed. Of great interest are the rail lines, grain elevators, cemeteries, hospitals and other institutions, as well as long-ago neighborhood names such as "Coopersville" and "Franklinville," both in the vicinity of 2nd Street and Erie Avenue. Altogether a wonderful depiction of the city in this time period. $450
"New Map of Philadelphia and Vicinity." Philadelphia: J.L. Smith, 1891. Separately issued, folding map in two sheets. Each sheet ca 26 x 22. Lithograph. Original color highlights. Separated at some folds. Browned but clean. Folding into original cloth cover.
Smith's large, two-sheet folding map of Philadelphia and environs. It covers the area from Philadelphia to the north as far as North Wales, to the east as far as Moorestown, and to the west just beyond Downingtown. Major streets and some buildings are shown in the city. Extensive information is given for the surrounding area, including roads, rivers, rail lines, mills, hotels, meeting houses, and myriad other geographic details. $225
Plate X. "Philadelphia (Central Part)" Ca. 1892. 8 1/4 x 11 7/8. Chromolithograph. Some separations along center fold. Else good condition. $75
George F. Cram. "Philadelphia." Chicago: G.F. Cram & Co., ca. 1900. 12 1/4 x 19 1/2. Double folio. Colored cerograph. Very good condition.
A colorful, detailed map of the city of Philadelphia around the turn of the 20th century. The George Cram Company was an engraving and publishing firm from Chicago. In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of cartographic publishing was New York City, but in the 1880's this began to shift towards Chicago with the advent of the Rand, McNally and Cram firms. These firms were noted for their efficient output of precise maps filled with useful and up-to-date political and cultural information, and details on roads, towns, railroads, and so forth. $175
"New Map of Philadelphia and Vicinity." Philadelphia: J.L. Smith, 1907. 26 1/4 x 42 3/4 (neat lines) plus borders. Separately issued, folding map backed on linen folded into 12 91/2 x 11 sections. Lithograph. Clean but some sections separated.
A large folding map of Philadelphia and the regions to the north as far as Trappe and North Wales, to the east as far as Andalusia on the Delaware River, to the west just beyond Downingtown and Kennett Square, and to the south to the Delaware River and Deptford, New Jersey. Major streets and some buildings are shown in the city. Extensive information is given for the surrounding area, including roads, rivers, rail lines, mills, hotels, meeting houses, and myriad other geographic details. A useful historical map. $275
"Noll's New Indexed Guide Map of Philadelphia and Camden, N.J." Philadelphia: E. P. Noll & Co., 1914. Two part, separately issued map with original cover. Each part ca. 28 x 40. Cerograph, original outline hand color. Some separations at folds, but overall very good.
A large, detailed and very attractive early twentieth century map of Philadelphia and neighboring Camden (N.J.). E.P. Noll & Co. ("Map Publishers & Manufacturers"), located on North Sixth Street, was the leading Philadelphia cartographic firm of the period, issuing maps for bicyclists, motorists, and other travelers. This map contains superb detail of streets (even some of which were never created), along with street indexes for the two cities. Also shown are parks, cemeteries, some hospitals and educational institutions, and the like. Well designed, with up-to-date information. $475
Elvino V. Smith. "Map of Philadelphia, Camden and Vicinity . . . by Elvino V. Smith, 512-514 Walnut Street." Credit reads, "Engraved by Albert Volk, Philadelphia." Philadelphia: E.V. Smith, 1921. 55 x 43 1/2. Chromolithograph. Full margins. Backed on linen and joined into 48 rectangles. Some wear along folds as issued. Separately issued. Very good condition.
A very large map of Philadelphia and the regions to the northwest as far as Ambler and Ft. Washington, to the northeast as far as Somerton, to the southwest just beyond Norwood in Delaware County, and to the southeast to Clementon, New Jersey. Major streets are shown in the city and suburbs. Elvino Victor Smith is listed in various atlas directories such as those by LeGear and Moak as flourishing from 1905-31. $650
Interstate Map Company. The "Red Book" Information and Street Guide to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. New York, 1926. 6 x 3. 208 pages, plus folded Philadelphia, PA, & Camden, NJ, street map which opens to 19 x 32.
Along with the indexed map, this small paperback guide book contains information on: streets and house numbers; armories; aviation clubs and fields; banks and trust companies; charities; churches; clubs; courts; consulates; ferries; fire and police stations; hotels; hospitals; cemeteries; libraries; newspapers; high schools; steamship companies; theatres; office buildings; parks; rail, trolley and bus lines; post offices and other points of interest. Altogether this is an excellent snapshot of a time just before the Great Depression in what was then the third-largest city in the United States. $225
Go to page of views of Philadelphia
For more information call, write, fax or e-mail to:
8441 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 242-4750 [Phone]
(215) 242-6977 [Fax]
©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated October 26, 2018