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Blunt's American Coast Pilot

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Charts from American Coast Pilot. New York: Edmund & George W. Blunt, 1854-55. 17th edition. Engravings. Very good condition, except as noted.

A nice set of sea charts from Blunt's famous American Coast Pilot. Edmund March Blunt (1770-1862) published the first edition of Captain Lawrence Furlong's American Coast Pilot in 1796, beginning his long career as a nautical book and chart maker. Blunt was actually the primary author of this work, using Furlong's name for credibility. The earliest editions did not contain any charts, but instead included verbal descriptions of sailing directions, tide tables, latitudes and longitudes, and navigational landmarks, as well as other information of use to sailors. In the later edition Blunt began to include small charts of harbors and sections of the coast. Over the years, Blunt continued to issue editions of this sea pilot and also produced separate charts based, at first, on the charts of others but later on his own charts and those of his sons, George William and Edmund. About 1827, Blunt retired and the firm was carried on by his sons, who continued to issue some of the best American sea charts of the period. Of note was the alliance between the Blunts and the U.S. Coast Survey, which allowed the Blunts to access to the latest U.S. surveys. In all, the Blunt firm issued twenty-one editions of the American Coast Pilot, which became an essential work for native and foreign sailors along the American coast. Finally, in 1867, the rights to the American Coast Pilot were sold to the Coast Survey for $20,000, ending the Blunt's long run as preeminent supplier of information on the American coast.

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