Auction 140, Lot 140

"[Puzzle] Outline Map of the United States", Milton Bradley Co.

Subject: United States

Period: 1881 (circa)


Color: Printed Color

22.5 x 15.5 inches
57.2 x 39.4 cm

This is a very early, complete puzzle map of the United States in its original box produced by Milton Bradley & Co. of Springfield, Massachusetts. There is basic detail including the location of major cities, rivers and railroads along with illustrations of a train and sailing ship in the blank areas. The circa date is based on railroad construction progress on the map, which show lines ending at Miles, Montana; Durango, Colorado; and El Paso, Texas. These cities were all reached in 1881.

The puzzle is housed in a solid wood box with paper title label attached to the top, "Dissected Outline Map of the United States of America." The 61 puzzle pieces are made of 1/16" thick compressed paper board and are all 4 sided with straight edges instead of the more common state shaped pieces.

Milton Bradley established his color lithography shop in 1860 and soon thereafter started making board games. During the Civil War he produced small games that soldiers could easily pack in their knapsacks – considered the first American travel games. By the 1870s the company was producing dozens of different types of games and in 1880 began making jigsaw puzzles. Milton Bradley was an early advocate of the idea of kindergarten and many of the company’s products were educational in nature. This is a great example of his early work.


Condition: B+

The puzzle has some light wear and a few abrasions. The box is solid with light wear and soiling.

Estimate: $325 - $400

Sold for: $240

Closed on 5/23/2012