Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 303

"Boston with Charlestown and Roxbury", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Boston, Massachusetts

Period: 1842 (dated)


Color: Black & White

11.7 x 14.7 inches
29.7 x 37.3 cm
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The beginning of the nineteenth century saw a period of rapid market growth and innovation in the map publishing world. Increased literacy and public interest in new frontiers and colonies overwhelmed the market because it was oriented toward the small, affluent market of the previous century. With the intent to fill this void, The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK) was founded in 1828 in London, by Lord Brougham and a group of men dedicated to the education of the aspiring working class and the Utilitarian ideal of 'Knowledge is Power.' The society produced an array of education materials, but the series of maps was one of their most successful ventures. A number of engravers and printers were used to produce the maps, which eventually exceed 200 sheets, and continued to be published after the Society as a whole ceased to function.

Detailed steel engraved plan of Boston and the surrounding cities prior to the filling of the Back Bay. Major railways are shown including the Providence Railway, Worchester Railway, Charleston Branch Railway, Lowell Railway, and the Eastern Railway. Other details include historical landmarks, hospitals, parks, and more. Engraved by B.R. Davies and published by Chapman & Hall.

References: Branch, p. 98-99; Tooley (Amer) p. 209, #107.

Condition: A

On a clean sheet with a hint of contemporary outline color. There is a bit of light toning in the blank margins.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $120

Closed on 9/15/2021