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Antique Maps of Montana

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

A detailed map of the northern plains. Idaho was created in 1863, extending from its current western border all the way across to an eastern border with today's Dakotas and Nebraska. It was soon realized that this was an impractical territory because of the difficulty of traveling across the Rockies in winter, so a year later Montana was created out of the northeastern part of Idaho. The southeastern part was temporarily attached to the Dakota Territory, until 1868 when this was made into the Wyoming Territory.

The discussion of creating such a territory had been around since 1864, however, 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 its 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



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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