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Antique Maps of Montana

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Northern Plains 1866
"Johnson's Nebraska, Dakota, Idaho and Montana." New York: Johnson & Ward, 1865-66. 17 x 23 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand coloring. A few scattered spots. Else, very good condition.

The discussion of creating a territory in the area that became Wyoming in 1868 had started earlier, and this map of 1865 shows Wyoming, even though it would not officially exist for another three years. This is the first depiction of the territory on a map and it shows some of the interesting features of the borders in this rugged part of the country. The southern part of Wyoming's western border is drawn at the 110° longitude line (this was moved west to the 111° line in 1868). The northern border was determined by the Montana border, which ran west along the 45th parallel until it reached 111° longitude, whence it dropped to 44°30', and then due west until it intersected the continental divide, which was Idaho's new eastern border. This left an odd, finger shaped area south of Montana and north of Idaho making up Wyoming's northwest corner, shown prominently here. Interestingly, when Wyoming was officially created as a territory, the western border went straight along the 111° line, and this 'gore' reverted back to being part of Dakota even though it was totally separated from the rest of the territory by Wyoming. It remained part of Dakota until 1873.

Another interesting thing is the mistaken depiction of two lakes, Jackson's Lake and Lake Riddle, which were actually the same lake. Explorers came upon Lake Riddle, which had already been named, and thought it was an undiscovered lake. They renamed it Jackson's Lake. Cartographers had to assume that there were two lakes, and thus the error on Johnson's map. Very early image of this area, with Dakota undivided into counties and Montana having only two counties. Mining sites are shown in both Idaho and Montana. $250


Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
Frank A. Gray. "Gray's Idaho, Montana and Wyoming." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray & Son, 1879. 12 x 14 3/4. Lithograph. Original color. Very good condition.

A nicely detailed and early map of the northwestern part of the United States by the Philadelphia firm of O.W. Gray. The firm began its publishing around mid-century and published regional and U.S. atlases up to the 1880s, first as O.W. Gray and then O.W. Gray & Son. This map is typical of their work, presenting the latest information available with clear and precise detail. The three territories are shown as they were originally set up in 1868; they would not be admitted as states for another decade. Detail includes topography, rivers, settlements, Indian tribes and even the early railroads both in Montana and Wyoming. Of particular interest is the depiction of Yellowstone Park, established just seven years earlier. For its attractive presentation and interesting detail make it a nice example of late nineteenth century American cartography. $225



Arbuckle Montana
"Montana." New York: Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company, 1889. Ca. 3 x 5. Chromolithograph by Donaldson Brothers. Very good condition.

From a delightful series of maps issued by the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company. This firm was founded by John and Charles Arbuckle of Pittsburgh, PA. They developed a machine to weigh, fill, seal and label coffee in paper packages, which allowed them to become the largest importer and seller of coffee in the world. Their most famous promotional program involved the issuing of several series of small, colorful trading cards, one of which was included in every package of Arbuckle's Coffee. These series included cards with sports, food, historic scenes, and--one of the most popular--maps. The latter cards included not only a map, but also small illustrations "which portrays the peculiarities of the industry, scenery, etc." of the region depicted. These cards are a delight, containing informative maps as well as wonderful scenes of the area mapped. $65



Rand folding Montana
"The Rand-McNally Vest Pocket Map of Montana." Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1919. 18 3/4 x 25 1/2. Separately issued folding map, with original paper covers and advertising. Cerograph. Full original color. Full margins. Repaired tear along one fold. Otherwise, excellent condition.

An early twentieth century map from 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 "vest pocket map" meant to be sold to travelers, as indicated by the advertisements for Chicago and New York businesses. The map has impressive topographical and transportation detail and it is essentially the same map as was issued in the Rand McNally New Commercial Atlas, but modified to be of more use to travelers. In particular, the railroads, electric lines, and combined steam and electric lines are identified by the use of red stamped numbers explained in a key in the lower right and the small size made the map most useful to put in one's vest pocket. $300




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