Auction 123, Lot 287

"Railway and Highway Map of the Famous Berkshire Hills Region, Showing also Villages and Points of Interest…", Watson, C.E, Walter

Subject: Massachusetts

Period: 1892 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

21.5 x 30 inches
54.6 x 76.2 cm

This is a noteworthy and seldom seen map published by Walter Watson for the Berkshire Life Insurance Company, Pittsfield, Mass. The map lays out the railways and highways of the Berkshire Hills region in remarkable detail. A legend identifies main roads, schoolhouses, cemeteries, churches, railroad stations and much, much more. The Berkshire Hills are described at right in a long excerpt from "Taghconic," by F.E.A. Smith. A vignette shows the company's headquarters building and another "View of the Berkshire Hills. Greylock Peak from the south end of Lake Onota." According to the Harvard University Gazette, Oct. 24, 2002, this map is widely regarded as the first 'free' road map ever distributed mainly for use by touring bicyclists. This example is the 1892 revised edition from the original 1883 map. Printed on fine banknote-style paper.


Condition: A

A few short fold separations repaired with nearly invisible archival tape on verso. A faint stamp in blank area says "Stockbridge House, Stockbridge, Mass." An excellent example.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $325

Closed on 2/20/2008