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The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Maps

Maps from the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company


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Maps by the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company. New York: 1889-1915. Ca 3 x 5. Chromolithographs by Donaldson Brothers. Very good condition, except as noted.

Map cards from a delightful series issued in 1889 by the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company. This firm was founded by John and Charles Arbuckle of Pittsburgh, PA, and it became the most famous coffee producer in the world. The Arbuckle brothers patented a method of preserving the roasted flavor on coffee by coating the beans with egg white & sugar and then selling in bags. They also 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. Such was their success that "Arbuckle" came to be a generic term for coffee.

Their most famous promotional program involved issuing 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 pictures "illustrating the peculiarities of the industries and scenery, etc." of the region depicted.

The Arbuckle map cards proved so popular when first issued in 1889 that the firm came out with a second, updated series in 1915. These cards sometimes had changed scenes, updatee population figures and added roads to the maps.

As the Arbuckle firm stated, "This series is at once the most interesting, instructive and artistic, yet offered as an advertisement. Every card is a study in itself, and affords an object lesson for both young and old." These cards are a delight, containing informative maps as well as wonderful scenes of the area mapped.

United States