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1962 printed maps from Hammond's Atlas

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Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

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Oh, the low prices on old atlases are a good thing.

First, it means that people so valued our work that they could never bear to throw away an old atlas. That's why there are so many that have been busted up into individual plates being sold on eBay. Second . . . because we can afford to buy them!
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics



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That the divison of Germany was not shown despite the atlas date just demonstrates the ecnomics of atlas production. One can date maps, atlases, and (especially) globes only negatively by national boundaries: the product cannot date from a time before a national entity appeared, but the appearence of a country cannot be used as evidence of currency with the nomoinal issue date. The 1939 National Geographic map of Europe shows Poland as only a name, pasted over the division between Germany and the USSR, but it shows Carpatho-Ukraine despite its having by then long ceased to exist.

The crowd of names on old Hammond maps demonstrates the extreame conservitisim of the Hammond cartographicv style: that was the style for US maps (but not European maps), throughout the wax-engraving period; a style that was only (eventually) replaced as a standard by the National Geographic style. Non-Goode's maps from Rand McNally were similarly styled. The Goode's style was really only used by R-M for their school atlases, not their commercial products.

One of the first 'realistic' shaded relief atlases was the 1958 "The Global Atlas" by Frank Debenham (Simon and Schuster). The description given in the atlas front matter implies that map hill shadeing is physical: apparantly, 3D models of each map, painted in the "natural" colors, was produced, lighted, and photographed. The sub-title of the Atlas is "A New View of the World from Space" (a view, of course, no one had yet seen in 1958...). I was given a copy as a boy (and I still have it), and yes, it was very different from any other commercial map product available at the time: not necessisarily better than the european atlases, but better than the available american rubbish, or.. er.. stuff.

I still very well recall the 'standard' mercator world maps of that period, centered on the US, that had two (count 'em, two) Indias: one to the east and one to the west at the the map edges.

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