Catalog Archive
Auction 198, Lot 43

Civil War Era Puzzle Map

"Dissected Outline Map of the United States of America", Milton Bradley Co.

Subject: Cartographic Miscellany, Puzzle, United States

Period: 1865 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

22.2 x 15.6 inches
56.4 x 39.6 cm
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This complete, scarce, and very early puzzle map of the United States was produced by Milton Bradley & Co. of Springfield, Massachusetts. The map shows basic detail of cities and railroads, including the Union Pacific and Kansas Pacific (but were not completed until 1869 and 1870). The map is dated circa 1865 as Wyoming Territory had not yet been organized from Dakota Territory, and Nevada has not yet gained it's southern tip from Arizona and it's eastern portion from Utah. The map is decorated by a train and a ship in the Atlantic with a fancy title at lower left.

The puzzle is housed in a solid wood box with paper title label attached to the top. The inside cover has a paper ad for Milton Bradley's Japanese Backgammon. The bottom of the box has an ad for a ship puzzle and a Christmas Tableaux. The puzzle pieces are made of 1/16" thick compressed paper board, and are all 4-sided with straight edges instead of the more common state shaped pieces.

Milton Bradley established his color lithography shop in 1860 and soon thereafter started making board games. During the Civil War he produced small games that soldiers could easily pack in their knapsacks - considered the first American travel games. Milton Bradley was an early advocate of the idea of Kindergarten and many of the company’s products were educational in nature. This is a great example of his early work.

References: Williams (The Jigsaw Puzzle) pp. 25-27.

Condition: B

The puzzle pieces are good with some light foxing and soiling. The box base is intact and the box top has two horizontal cracks across the middle that are reinforced with tape. Paper title label pasted on the box top has chipped off in places, and the advertisement on bottom is both chipped and rubbed.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $250

Closed on 6/19/2024