Catalog Archive
Auction 183, Lot 114

"A Food Map of the United States Showing the Part Played by Each of Our States in Supplying the Nation's Larder",

Subject: United States

Period: 1933 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

43 x 33 inches
109.2 x 83.8 cm
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This remarkable large map was drawn by the great graphic artist and poster designer Louis Fancher and was published by The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, better known as A&P. Established in 1839 as a tea and coffee retailer in New York, A&P grew to a nationwide chain of grocery stores by the early 20th century and was the world's largest retailer by 1930. The map illustrates the bounty of the United States and is absolutely filled with images demonstrating each state's key agricultural products and accompanied by a table listing. Interspersed among the food products are racially stereotyped illustrations of Native Americans in several northwestern states, African-Americans in the Southeast, and Chinese Americans in California and the Southeast. Inset maps in the corners show grain, meat & fish, and poultry production in the country as well as a map showing the territory of the A&P stores. Text below the map touts the food supply in the U.S. where "we can reach out a hand and draw our daily food from the farthest corners of the land." The map's bright and optimistic depiction of American agriculture is ironic given that it was published in the midst of the Great Depression and on the eve of the Dust Bowl era. Indeed, although A&P weathered the first few years of the Great Depression, its business began to decline around the time this map was published due to the effects of the economy and increased competition from other retailers. This is the second edition of this map, first published in 1932, and includes a seal placed over Mexico commemorating the Chicago World's Fair. A&P's World's Fair exhibit, the "A & P Carnival," included an experimental kitchen, live music, puppets, and more.

Louis Delton Francher (1884-1944) was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and spent some of his formative years in Chicago and later New York City, where he studied at the Art Student's League. Early in his career he illustrated for several silent movie studios, Collier's & Scribner's magazines, and the U.S. military, and was awarded the $1000 Remington Prize in a national poster competition sponsored by Remington Firearms Company. Farcher spent much of his later career in commercial advertising in New York. Farcher's imprint is in the bottom right corner of the map.

References: Rumsey #9754.

Condition: A

A lovely, bold example that has been professionally backed in archival tissue, repairing a number of small tears along the edges of the sheet, two of which enter about 2" into the image at right and left.

Estimate: $950 - $1,200

Sold for: $750

Closed on 6/9/2021