Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 810

Volume Includes the First Two Maps Lithographed in the United States

"[2 Maps in Book] Map of the Wilkesbarre &c Anthracite Coal Formation [and] Barton on the Catskills [bound in] The American Journal of Science, and Arts ... Vol. IV...",

Subject: Miscellaneous Books, Lithography

Period: 1821-22 (published)


Color: Black & White

5.3 x 8.7 inches
13.5 x 22.1 cm
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This 408-page volume divided into two parts was edited by Benjamin Silliman and is noteworthy for including the first lithographed map in the United States. Silliman announced this new lithographic process in his article "Notice of the Lithographic Art" on page 169 and further states that “all the drawings in the present number are printed on stone by Mssrs. Barnet & Doolittle, whom we are happy to introduce to our readers as artists in this comparatively new department.” This notice was included in part one and refers to the illustrations within including the Map of the Wilkesbarre &c Anthracite Coal Formation (8.0 x 9.6") that accompanied the "Account of the Mines of Anthracite, in the region about Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania" by Zachariah Cist and two other plates. This basic map roughly covers the region between Harrisburg and Wilkesbarre showing the coal belt running between the Susquehanna River and the Blue Mountains to its south.

The Wilkesbarre map being the first lithographed map in the United States is new information and counter to Ristow's commentary in American Maps and Mapmakers. Ristow stated on page 282 to that the map found in part 2 of this volume, Barton on the Catskills (5.0 x 6.3"), is "the earliest example of lithographic cartography in the United States." Ristow also references the "Notice of Lithographic Art" found in part one, so the only reasonable conclusion is that he was reviewing an incomplete example of the journal and that the Wilkesbarre map was not present.

In total, this volume features 7 plates including the first two lithographic maps produced in the United States and two geological sketches which were the "first American scientific illustrations in the new technique" (see Wood reference). The inclusion of these maps and plates in a well-respected journal marked the beginning of the lithographic revolution in the United States. Hardbound in quarter leather with tips over marbled boards with gilt title on spine.

References: Ristow (American Maps and Mapmakers) p. 282; Wood (Prints and Scientific Illustration in America) p. 178.

Condition: B

Contents are good to very good with light toning and scattered foxing. The covers are worn, hinges are starting, and the spine is chipped at top.

Estimate: $400 - $600

Sold for: $220

Closed on 4/28/2021