Catalog Archive
Auction 161, Lot 790

Ruth Taylor's Pictorial Atlas & Brochure

"[Lot of 2] Our U.S.A. - A Gay Geography [and] United Air Lines - A Gay Geography of the Main Line Airway", White, Ruth Taylor

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1938 (circa)


Color: Printed Color

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A. Our U.S.A. - A Gay Geography, published 1938 (13.0 x 9.5"). Ruth Taylor White's charming pictorial maps are among the most popular collectible maps of the early 20th century. These whimsical maps, often known as cartographs, combine graphic style, color and comical observation. This atlas contains 52 out of 54 of these humorous maps of the states and territories on heavy paper (missing the United States and West Virginia). While the maps do show the stereotypes of the day, they are nonetheless memorable because of it. Shortly after the publication of the first edition in 1935, the New York Times reviewed it as follows: "Any one who remembers his childhood efforts to visualize Kentucky as something more than the green spot on the map, or New York as the pink State, will appreciate this volume. Brilliantly colored pictorial maps of the same order which have been amusing adults for the past decade show the United States and their Territories as active, picturesque entities" (November 17th, 1935). Oblong quarto, hardbound in red cloth with endpapers depicting the hemispheres. Published in Boston by Little, Brown and Company. Condition: Condition code is for the maps which are clean and bright with vivid colors. The only exception is the map of Hawaii which has a small edge tear at top that just enters the map image. Text has pleasant light toning. The hinges are starting and the text block is a little loose. Covers have light staining and soiling. (A)

B. United Air Lines - A Gay Geography of the Main Line Airway, circa 1938 (20 x 10.5"). This colorful 16 page brochure features ten distinctive pictographic maps by Ruth Taylor. The maps detail the air trails across the United States as flown by United Airlines in the late 1930's. Each map is densely filled with Taylor's playful images describing industry and activities in the area. The dimensions given are for each two-page spread as this is the layout employed in the brochure. The dramatic cover is in bold red and black with art deco titling. The newly created Boulder Dam (September 1935) is shown suggesting a publication date in the late 1930's. Passengers were given this brochure as a souvenir of their flight in the innovative DC-3 aircraft. Condition: Near fine. (A)


Condition: A

See description above.

Estimate: $800 - $1,000

Sold for: $1,200

Closed on 2/8/2017