Catalog Archive
Auction 161, Lot 55

Early Civil War Era Puzzle Map

"[Puzzle Map] Dissected Outline Map of North America", Milton Bradley Co.

Subject: Cartographic Miscellany, Puzzle Map, North America

Period: 1865 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

8.2 x 10.6 inches
20.8 x 26.9 cm

This complete, rare, and very early puzzle map of the United States was produced by Milton Bradley & Co. of Springfield, Massachusetts. The map is dated circa 1865 as the southern tip of present-day Nevada is still part of Arizona Territory, and Nevada's eastern boundary with Utah is prior to its extension to the 114th meridian in 1866.

The map itself consists of 25 hand colored, straight cut pieces of 1/32" compressed paper board. It is housed in its original paper box with paper title label attached to the top. The inside cover has a paper advertisement for a croquet set (Milton Bradley was the first U.S. company to produce croquet sets), and the bottom of the box has an ad for a board game called "Bamboozle."

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. 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.

Early Civil War era puzzle maps are uncommon on the market.


Condition: B+

The map is very good with light scattered foxing. The box is also very good with some light wear to the edges of the box, minor soiling, and light scattered foxing.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $200

Closed on 2/8/2017