1832 S.D.U.K. Map of Lake Superior

North America Sheet IV Lake Superior.

1832 S.D.U.K. Map of Lake Superior


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North America Sheet IV Lake Superior.
  1832 (dated)    13.5 x 16 in (34.29 x 40.64 cm)     1 : 1770000


A beautiful 1832 S.D.U.K. map of Lake Superior, the largest of the five Great Lakes. Centered on Lake Superior, the map coves the modern day regions of southern Ontario, northern Michigan and northeastern Minnesota. Although the interiors remain poorly mapped, several rivers, islands and lakes are noted throughout. The Indian tribe of Alogonquins or Chippeways is also identified. Also notes the American Fur Company, one of the largest businesses in the early 19th century. Published in 1832 by Baldwin and Cradock of Paternoster Row for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, or S.D.U.K. Although the Society formally closed its doors in 1848, subsequent reissues of the S.D.U.K. atlas were printed well into the 1870s by Chapman and Hall, who acquired the original plates.


The "Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge" was a Whiggish organization founded in 1828 at the instigation of idealistic British lord Henry Peter Brougham. The admirable goal of the Society was to distribute useful information via a series of publications to the English working and middle classes. It promoted self-education and the egalitarian sharing of all knowledge. While closely tied to the London University and publishing houses on the order of Baldwin and Cradock, Chapman and Hall, and Charles Knight, the Society failed to achieve its many lofty goals in finally closed its doors in 1848. Most likely the failure of the Society resulted from its publications being too expensive for its intended lower to middle class markets and yet not large and fine enough to appeal to the aristocratic market. Nonetheless, it did manage to publish several extraordinary atlases of impressive detail and sophistication. Their most prominent atlas consisted of some 200 separately issued maps initially published by Baldwin and Cradock and sold by subscription from 1829 to 1844. Afterwards, the Society combined the maps into a single world atlas published under the Chapman and Hall imprint. In its day, this atlas was unprecedented in its quality, scope, and cost effectiveness. Today Society, or S.D.U.K. as it is commonly known, maps are among the most impressive examples of mid-19th century English mass market cartographic publishing available. The S.D.U.K. is especially known for its beautiful and accurately detailed city plans.


Maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, (London: Baldwin & Cradock), 1832.    


Very good. Minor edge wear. Backed with archival tissue for stabilization.


Rumsey 0890.131. Phillips (Atlases) 794.