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Antique Maps of Colorado

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Johnson Western States 1963-4
A.J. Johnson. "Johnson's California, with Territories of Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona." New York: Johnson & Ward, 1864. 17 1/4 x 24 1/4. Lithograph. Full original hand color. Light waterstains in bottom corners. Otherwise, very good condition.

An attractive and interesting map of the southwestern part of the United States from A. J. Johnson's mid-nineteenth century atlas of the world. Johnson, who published out of New York City, was one of the leading cartographic publishers in the latter half of the century, producing popular atlases, geographies and so on. This finely detailed map is an good example of Johnson's output. In the 1860s, the American west was just opening to exploration and settlement, and this is an excellent picture of the region at the time. The maps produced by nineteenth century publishers, issued in regularly updated atlases, let us see these transient stages in the development of the west. This map shows the new territories of Nevada (1861), Colorado (1861) and Arizona (1863). Of note is that Nevada's eastern border extends only to the 115th meridian (it was moved to the 114th the year this map was issued) and the southern "tip" of Nevada is still part of Arizona, as is was for another three years.

Johnson shows the Indian tribes, forts, emigrant trails, and explorers routes. One of the most interesting features of this map is the indication of the proposed railroads. The many trails that were beginning to be used in the west, such as the Cimarron, Santa Fe, and Oregon trails, are indicated, as are the different routes leading to the "Pike's Peak" gold mining regions around Denver. This map was issued in the early days of the building of the trans-continental railway and the proposed routes for the southern Pacific R.R. and both the Central Pacific R.R. and the Union Pacific R.R., which are shown on this map passing each other by, rather than meeting in Utah as they eventually did. $325



"Colton's Map of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona & New Mexico." New York: G.W. and C.B. Colton & Co., 1866. 16 3/4 x 26. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A fascinating map of the southwestern part of the United States by the Colton firm of New York City, issued just after the Civil War. This was a period when the American west was really opening up for settlers and this map captures the region at a very early stage of its development. When issued, the territories had taken on the shape that the states have today, though in this early version of the Colton map of the region Nevada's eastern border is too far west (it was moved in 1864) and the southern tip of what is today Nevada is still part of Arizona, as it was until the following year.

The topographical detail is very good, but it is the social information that is so interesting. Towns, forts, Indian tribes, passes, explorer routes, the pony express, and early trails (e.g. "Emigrant Road") are all depicted. Some of this is quite current, while other aspects are a bit out-of-date (such as still showing Auraria next to Denver City. Of particular note are the indications of early railroads, both proposed and existing, including the proposed route of the "Pacific R.R." In the vast middle parts of this map, the mountains are not fully filled in, but good indications are given of the locations of Indian tribes and mines. California, in contrast to the territories, is shown extensively developed, with many counties, towns, and a network of roads and rail lines. $350



Gray Colorado 1877
"Colorado." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray, 1877. 12 x 14 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

An early map of Colorado, issued the year after statehood. It was published by the Philadelphia firm of O.W. Gray which began its publishing around mid-century and published regional and U.S. atlases up to the 1880s. The Ute Indian reservation in the western part of the territory is shown, as is the 1873 San Juan Purchase of lands from the reservation necessitated by the discovery of silver there. The township surveys along the front range are shown, as are the railroads rapidly being built, coming into Denver, to Pueblo, and into the mountains for the mining towns. Gray updated the map to show the arrival of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad to Pueblo in 1876, and its extension almost to Fort Garland. $350



Bradley CO 1884
"Colorado." Philadelphia: Wm. M. Bradley, ca. 1884. 16 1/2 x 20 3/8. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. $175



Gaskell Colorado
"Colorado"/ "Indian Ty." From Gaskell's Atlas of the World. Chicago: Gaskell, 1889. 9 1/2 x 12. Small folio. Cerograph map with original printed color. Very good condition.

A double sided map from the late nineteenth century that is a good example of the quality of American mapmaking at the time. Done by cerography, or wax engraving, the map is filled with precise, clear and copious details. Shown are towns, road, railroads, rivers, all set against a topographical background and with pastel shades delineated counties. A wonderful map of both Colorado and Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) showing these states almost a century and a half ago. $80



Cram Colorado 1898
"Colorado." From Cram's Universal Atlas. Chicago: Geo. F. Cram, 1898. 10 1/4 x 13 1/8. Colored cerograph. Very good condition.

The George Cram Company was an engraving and publishing firm from Chicago. In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of cartographic publishing was New York City, but in the 1880s this began to shift towards Chicago with the advent of the Rand, McNally and Cram firms. The Chicago firms were noted for their efficient output of precise maps using the process of wax engraving or cerography. This is a nice example of the Cram firm's output. Streets and railroads are depicted and named, and rivers, canals, lakes and parks noted. $60




"Colorado." Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1898. 9 1/8 x 12 1/4. Cerograph with printed highlight color. Very good condition.

A map of Colorado from the end of the nineteenth century, by the Rand, McNally & Co. firm primarily out of Chicago, a company that would shift the center of cartographic publishing from the east coast to the mid-west. This is a "pocket map" and guide meant to be sold to travelers. The quality of this map demonstrates why the Rand, McNally & Co. firm would go on to become so successful. QW OUT ON APPROVAL



Cram Colorado 1904
"Colorado." Chicago: George F. Cram & Co., 1904. 13 3/8 x 19 3/4. Colored cerograph. Very good condition.

A colorful and detailed map of Colorado at the beginning of the twentieth century. The George Cram Company was an engraving and publishing firm from Chicago. In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of cartographic publishing was New York City, but in the 1880s this began to shift towards Chicago with the advent of the Rand, McNally and Cram firms. The Chicago firms were noted for their efficient output of precise maps (using the process of wax engraving or cerography) filled with useful and up-to-date political and cultural information, and details on roads, towns, railroads, and so forth. This map is typical of the Cram company's work and provides an excellent view of the state, with roads, towns, and topography clearly presented. $70




"Rand McNally Popular Map of Colorado." Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1936+. 9 1/4 x 12 3/8. Cerograph with printed highlight color. Very good condition.

A map of Colorado from the early twentieth century, by the Rand, McNally & Co. firm primarily out of Chicago, a company that would shift the center of cartographic publishing from the east coast to the mid-west. This is a "pocket map" and guide meant to be sold to travelers. The quality of this map demonstrates why the Rand, McNally & Co. firm would go on to become so successful. $45



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