16th Century Maps, 19th Century Maps, Engraving, Maps, Portraits, Prints, World Maps

Happy 503rd Birthday to Gerardus Mercator

Gerardus Mercator

Gerardus Mercator

Happy 503rd Birthday to Gerardus Mercator. A cartographer, mathematician, philosopher, inventor, engraver, and teacher, Mercator was a man whose eponymous cartographic projection forever changed how mariners navigate their ships and how we see the world. He was also the first person to call a collection of maps an atlas. Cheers to a great man and an even greater mind.

VIA LINK.

Image via LINK.

Below are world maps based on Mercator’s Projection. All the meridians intersect with lines of latitude at 90 degree angles. Alone, this would still skew a line of bearing. To combat this, Mercator proportionally increased the distance between the parallels, so he could match the rate of angular distortion. This projection was widely used for navigation charts during the age of exploration, as any straight line on a Mercator-projection map is a line of constant true bearing that enables a navigator to plot a straight-line course, without having to continuously recalculate his course.

A New Chart of the World on Mercator's Projection with the Tracts of the Most Celebrated & Recent Navigators. By Henry Teesdale.  Handcolored engraving,1844.

A New Chart of the World on Mercator’s Projection with the Tracts of the Most Celebrated & Recent Navigators. By Henry Teesdale. Handcolored engraving,1844.

Colton's Illustrated & Embellished Steel Plate Map of the World on Mercator's Projection, compiled from the latest & most authentic sources.  By D. Griffing Johnson. Steel plate engraving, 1848-53.

Colton’s Illustrated & Embellished Steel Plate Map of the World on Mercator’s Projection, compiled from the latest & most authentic sources. By D. Griffing Johnson. Steel plate engraving, 1848-53.

Mappemonde Physique sur la Projection de Mercator. By Adrien Hubert Brue.  Engraving, 1821.

Mappemonde Physique sur la Projection de Mercator. By Adrien Hubert Brue. Engraving, 1821.

Map of the World on Mercators Projection. By John Atwood. Engraving, 1841-45.

Map of the World on Mercator’s Projection. By John Atwood. Engraving, 1841-45.

Gilbert's Map of the World, on Mercator's Projection. By James Gilbert. Segmented case map, engraving, 1841.

Gilbert’s Map of the World, on Mercator’s Projection. By James Gilbert. Segmented case map, engraving, 1841.

 

 

Standard
19th Century Maps, 19th Century Prints, American Views, Americana, Chromolithograph, Lithograph, Maps, Multi-color Rotolithograph, Prints, World Maps

Washington DC Puzzle

The Capitol at Washington. Map of the World on Mercator’s Projection. (Puzzle, map, and view.)  View: chromolithograph. Map: multi-color rotolithograph. Published by McLoughlin Bros., New York, 1888.

 

We recently added a unique boxed puzzle, with a view of the United States Capitol building on one side and a map of the world on the other, to our inventory. The title on the puzzle box is: “A New Dissected Map of the World with a picture puzzle of the Capitol at Washington.”  It comes with a separate folded copy of the world map. The puzzle creates a striking view of the Capitol, with a blue and coral sky and lots of activity around the entrance to the Capitol. As is typical in 19th century puzzles, the outer ring of pieces all link into each other, while the inner pieces are flat-sided squares and rectangles.  The puzzle was created in 1888.

The puzzle was published by McLoughlin Bros., Inc., a New-York based publishing firm, active from 1828-1920.  The company was a pioneer in color printing technologies in children’s books and games. Early products were  attractively hand-painted, in what was an early form of an assembly line–the line drawings were passed from artist to artist with each one responsible for coloring in one of the colors. The company later experimented with chromolithographic and multi-color rotolithographic printing techniques. McLoughlin Bros. also specialized in the retelling of classic stories, with omissions of lewder or uncouth sections, to make the story more child-friendly.   By 1886, the firm was publishing a wide range of items, including chapbooks, larger picture-books, puzzles, games, and paper dolls. McLoughlin produced some of the most colorful and collectible board games in America, and was a prolific manufacturer of games until the company was bought out by Milton Bradley in 1920.

To see this item on our website, click here. You can also see it in person at our Georgetown DC gallery.

Standard