Auction 117, Lot 266

"[Lot of 3 - Boston]",

Subject: Massachusetts, Boston

Period: 1909 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

See Description

This unique set of maps attests to the sudden impact the automobile had on society and the early and surprisingly comprehensive plans to accommodate drivers through a huge road network. These three early highway and thoroughfare maps detail the plans by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to create new highways in Boston and vicinity. The Metropolitan Improvements Commission was formed in 1907 when the Boston Transit Commission was ordered to study traffic congestion in the city. The commission was ordered to "consider the establishment of a systematic method of internal communication by highway." Each map title begins with "Commonwealth of Massachusetts Metropolitan Improvements Commission."

1) Vicinity of Boston Proper Showing in Red Lines Needed Highway Extensions. A very detailed town plan with strong red overprinting showing the proposed new roads. The map extends to include Independence Island and part of Governors Island in the east and west to Cambridge Observatory and the Botanical Gardens. Names major streets, locates parks, baseball parks, and much more. The number and concentration of rail lines in the city is remarkable. The base map is by the Coast and Geodetic Survey. (40.5 x32")
2) Map of Existing and Proposed Circumferential Thoroughfares of the District and Their Connections. This map is centered on Boston and uses color overprinting to delineate the planned thoroughfares. Blue indicates roads 60 feet or wider, dashed blue shows roads less than 60 feet wide, and red indicates needed connecting roads. The map extends to include Marblehead in the northeast, and west to beyond Concord and Natick. Printed over the U.S. Geological Survey's topographical map of the area, it shows fine topographical detail, contours at 20 feet intervals, watershed, etc. (32.8 x 28")
3) Map of Existing and Proposed Radial Thoroughfares of the District and Their Connections. This map is overprinted on the same topographical map as the Circumferential sheet above. The same color scheme is used to indicate radial roads throughout the area. (32.8 x 28")


Condition: A

A very fine set with great coloring and strong impressions. A hint of toning on first, short closed tears at left margin of second, but near fine considering their size and period. Folded, as issued.

Estimate: $150 - $250

Sold for: $120

Closed on 12/6/2006