Old Folding Maps
The unfolding world c.1720 -
and other interesting things…
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WALL MAPS & CHARTS
Our wall maps and plans are produced in the same way as many school or wall maps in the late 19th and 20th centuries. The maps are laid on to cloth and a number of coats of varnish hand applied to protect the image from the environment. The hanging rods are of Ash and hand finished in black. Just like the wall maps of old they are robust and, if cared for, they will last a life time.
Gall & Inglis map of Africa
Map of India
James Wyld’s map of the World
The interior of Africa was, more or less, unknown to Europeans when Gall & Inglis’s map of Africa (1854) was published. The
coastline was, more or less, known following voyages starting with the Portuguese in the 15th century. The inhabitants of Africa were understandably hostile to being taken over and, with the climate and disease to which Europeans had no resistance, few dared venture very far inland.
At the time of Parbury’s map of India 1825 much of India was under control of the East India Company. Granted it’s Royal Charter in 1599 it traded in commodities like tea, spices and silks that commanded very high prices in England.They also engaged in the opium trade.
It is very difficult to represent a sphere in a flat plane. Gerard Mercator in the mid 16th century came up with one solution that is now universally known as Mercator’s projection. The scale of the map increases the further from the equator you are, thus making countries nearer the pole seem much larger than they really are. In the projection, the lines of latitude are the same length whereas on a globe they get shorter the nearer the pole. At the very point of the pole they are in reality 0 in length. By distorting the lines of longitude at the same time Mercator produced a map that preserved angles from one place to another, as on a globe.
A new map of London c.1800
The ancient forests of Middlesex were long gone and London had a scarcity of wood so coal was burnt for cooking and heating. Shipped by barge from the Tyne over 800,000 Newcastle Chaldrons of coal were supplied to the city in 1801. There were no standard weights and measures, a Newcastle Chaldron being 53cwt (5906 lbs or 2700 kilos) while a London Chaldron being only 28 cwt (3136 lbs or 1425 kilos). The city was always shrouded in smoke which did not lift until the Clean Air Acts of the 1950’s.
Australian Colonies & New Zealand c.1854
Australia Day is the official national day of Australia & the date commemorates the
arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788. The date is controversial to some
however, leading to the use of alternative names such as Invasion Day. The Aborigines,
were extremely vulnerable, living exclusively as hunter-
Cruchley’s new map of Europe c.1860
Featuring it’s political divisions & railroads.
George Frederick Cruchley was a London based book and map seller active in the middle part of the 19th century. Cruchley began his cartographic career as an apprentice at the venerable Arrowsmith firm. Many of Cruchley's earliest maps bear the words "From Arrowsmith's" on the imprint.
“Smiths New English Atlas being a complete set of county maps”
Working from the Strand from around 1800 Smith produced these beautiful maps, judged at the time to be among the best ever issued. On quite a large scale they contain a wealth of information and much of the fine engraving was executed by Charles Smith himself.
Essentially produced through the antipathy of oil and water the technique for marbling paper arrived in Europe from the near east at the end of the 16th century. Travellers from Europe came in to contact with marbled paper and other exotic techniques as they progressed through Turkey and other states to the east. It is believed that the origins of marbling paper originated even further east in China.
“No, Sir, when man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”
Of English writers probably only Shakespeare is quoted more often than Samuel Johnson who said of London:
Samuel Johnson 1709 -
“By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can shew”
“...if a man walks out in London he is not sure when he will walk in again. A great city is, to be sure, the school for studying life”.
By 1700 London was one of the greatest cities in the world. It's population of over 500,000 dwarfed the next most populous English city, Norwich, by a factor of 15 to 1. The city was, however, a very dangerous and unhealthy place. Overcrowding, poor sanitation and disease led to more people dying each year than were born. With contaminated drinking water, the streets acting as open sewers and the choking atmosphere, diseases such as Cholera, Smallpox and Tuberculosis
were wide spread. Not least among the average Londoner's worries was the fact that there were over 250 capital offences. Life expectancy varied from the early 20's in the poorest Boroughs to maybe the mid 30's in the wealthier parts of town. By 1800 the population had risen to the extent that London was probably the first city in the world with over 1,000,000 citizens. However, the average life expectancy across London was still only 30 while in rural England it had risen to over 40. The population could only be maintained by immigration, so despite the dangers, migrants flocked to the city from all over the country, lured by wages at least double those elsewhere. Read more..
London & a brief history of folding maps