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A Very Early Edition of Page’s Impressive Map of Colorado

16. H. R. Page. “Page’s Map of Colorado 1881” (Chicago: H. R. Page & Company, 1881). Published in Illustrated Historical Atlas of Wisconsin. Double-page lithograph with full original hand color. 20 x 15" at neat line with full margins. Sheet size: 28 ¼ x 17 3/4". Text on verso presents “A Guide to Colorado,” including populations of towns in the 1880s. Excellent condition with fine color.

Price: SOLD [ Order ]

Between 1866 and 1890, the illustrated state atlas flourished as a new branch of commercial cartography in the United States. State atlas publishing was an extension and refinement of the highly successful county atlas publishing business, which had evolved from the county map industry that had been profitable before and after the Civil War.

The present map of Colorado likely comes—oddly enough—from the Illustrated Historical Atlas of Wisconsin, published by H. R. Page & Company of Chicago in 1881. Page had acquired the map plates prepared by the Milwaukee company of Snyder and Van Vechten in 1878 for their Historical Atlas of Wisconsin, to which Page then added sections of historical text and maps of thirteen states besides Wisconsin (the others were Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, and the Colorado offered here).

Page’s “Colorado” records the state only five years after it entered the Union in 1876 and is most likely the largest hand-colored map of Colorado to appear in an atlas. The map features counties delineated by color and the progress of township surveys in the more settled areas of the state. Further details include towns, roads, railroads, forts, mines, rivers, and mountains with prominent peaks named (e.g., Long’s, Pike’s).

Overall, this is a large and impressive example of one of the earliest maps of Colorado, now very scarce and quite desirable.

Ref.: Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, pp. 427, 434, 443.

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