Catalog Archive
Auction 165, Lot 113

McCandlish's Humorous Prohibition Map

"Bill Whiffletree's Bootleggers' Map of the United States",

Subject: United States

Period: 1944 (circa)


Color: Printed Color

30.2 x 24.1 inches
76.7 x 61.2 cm
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This unique wall map spoofing prohibition was created by Edward McCandlish and first published in the Washington Post in 1926. McCandlish was a prominent illustrator for the children's page in many newspapers in the 1920's and 1930's, making this parody a radical departure. The Bootleggers' Map was a hit early on, and the Griswold Press (Detroit) issued a second version in the late 1920s. The map continued a successful run after Prohibition ended and was syndicated to several other publishers, including the present example issued by the Hagstrom Company in New York. Hagstrom copyrighted their map in 1944 under the Bill Whiffletree trademark in order to accompany Whiffletree's very scarce Ration Map of the United States. Roderick Barron of Barron Maps wrote an excellent article describing the map's publication history here.

The map itself is filled with illustrations and puns, as nothing is sacred in this hilarious look at alcohol and prohibition. Many place names are plays on words, like Chi-keg-o, Albu-Corky, Fill-More, Booze (Boise), and many more (some so bad they hurt) - The pints of the compass are Norse, Wets, Yeast, and Souse. Unique to this version of the map is the addition of text at bottom entitled "Bill Whiffletree on 'Bootleggin'." A wonderful piece of Americana that beautifully captures the humor and mood of the time.

References: Hornsby (Picturing America) pp. 59 & 72.

Condition: A

Vivid color on a clean sheet that has been professionally mounted on heavy canvas. There is one minute hole directly below Cairo, Illinois and a small abrasion along the top border.

Estimate: $1,600 - $2,000


Closed on 11/15/2017