Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 23

Rare Malaria Map Featuring Dr. Seuss Illustrations

"This Is Ann..... She Drinks Blood! [on verso] Newsmap Monday November 8, 1943...", U.S. Gov't Printing Office

Subject: World, World War II

Period: 1943 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

45.8 x 33 inches
116.3 x 83.8 cm
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This "newsmap" was issued to warn U.S. servicemen of the dangers of malaria and includes whimsical drawings of a malaria-infected mosquito drawn by Theodor Geisel, an Army captain who later became known as Dr. Seuss. Geisel created training films and educational pamphlets for the military beginning in 1943, including a pamphlet on malaria with the same title as this map and similar drawings, although no map was included in the pamphlet. This map shows the regions of high, moderate and low risk of contracting the disease denoted in blood red. Above the map are illustrations of Anopheles Mosquito, nicknamed "Ann," peeking through a keyhole and drinking a wine glass full of blood. The witty prose at top explains that Ann is "dying to meet you" and is as dangerous "as a bomb, a bullet or a shell."

The U.S. military turned its attention to malaria education among its servicemen after Germany blocked the Allies' supply of quinine, an anti-malaria drug. In some areas, U.S. casualties due to malaria were higher than those resulting from battle, making the disease a critical concern. As a result, the Army increased its output of educational content on how to prevent the onset of the disease and properly use available protective measures. Geisel's pamphlet and map were instrumental tools of this effort.

The verso is a typical newsmap covering the week of October 28 through November 4, 1943 with an overview of the various war fronts in Russia, Italy, Southwest Pacific, and Burma. Maps of Europe, Crimea and the Solomon Islands are included, in addition to photos of American and British military troops and aircraft.

From 1942-46, the U.S. Army published "newsmaps" to keep American troops updated on the war. These weekly posters were distributed and posted in every American installation in the world and were intentionally more visual than descriptive to help engage and motivate personnel.

References: PJ Mode #2214

Condition: B+

Issued folding with several splits along the folds and three small areas of paper loss along the central fold at right (within North America). There is minor soiling mostly confined to the blank margins and a bit on verso.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $600

Closed on 4/28/2021