1891 Courier Company City Plan or Map of Buffalo, New York

Map of Buffalo and Suburbs. Carefully Compiled from the Records of the City Clerk. - Main View

1891 Courier Company City Plan or Map of Buffalo, New York


Buffalo, printed in Buffalo.


Map of Buffalo and Suburbs. Carefully Compiled from the Records of the City Clerk.
  1891 (dated)     44.5 x 36.25 in (113.03 x 92.075 cm)     1 : 21600


This large 1891 city plan or map of Buffalo, New York, was published by the Buffalo-based Courier Company. It depicts the region from Warrendale to Smokes Creek and from Fort Erie, Canada to Williamsville and Ebenezer. Red overprinting is used to illustrate city wards. Streetcar routes indicated. The Park, today called Delaware Park, is illustrated in detail. The Erie Canal parallels the Niagara River before disappearing into Buffalo. The city's many railroad lines converge on the river, highlighting Buffalo's role as a shipping hub.
The Courier Company and this Map
The Courier Company was an important fixture in the Buffalo community for over fifty years. It printed the Buffalo city directory and its employees held important positions in the community and in the state of New York.
Publication History and Census
This map was created and published by the Courier Company in 1891. This is the only known surviving example.


Courier Company (1860 – 1908), also known as the Courier Lithograph Company, was a printing firm based in Buffalo, New York. The Courier Company was organized in 1860 by the publishers of the Buffalo Courier, a local newspaper, but the printing concern dates to 1849. Many prominent figures in Buffalo were associated with the company, and under their guidance it soon grew into the largest poster publishing firm in the United States, if not the world. An individual named Tom Kean played an important role in the founding and early years of the company and used his decades of experience in working with actors and actresses to drive the firm's initial success. The Courier Company, however, truly began to expand because of the influence of Joseph 'Joe' Warren. Warren began working for the firm in 1854 as the local editor and then was elected Superintendent of Schools in 1857, further raising his local notoriety. Warren was also well known in Buffalo as a political organizer and was named the leader of the Democrats in Western New York following the death of Dean Richmond in 1866. When the Courier Company was organized in 1860, Warren was named its first president. Charles W. McCune, a remarkably successful businessman, was recruited to take over the company in 1873. McCune had worked since the age of fifteen for A.T. Stewart and Company, a large dry goods company in New York City, and by age of twenty worked as that firm's purchasing agent in Europe. McCune was also associated with two other companies before he formed his own partnership, McCune, Scott, and Cooper. He achieved such a level of success that, in 1873, three years after founding his own partnership, he was planning to settle down in Paris, but was called to take the reins of the Courier Company, where he was manager by 1874. McCune officially succeeded Warren as president of The Courier Company in 1880. By this time, Courier had moved beyond only printing, but was known for book printing, commercial and railroad printing, bookbinding, manufacture of blank books, wood engraving lithography, illustrated catalogues, and, of course, the Buffalo city directory. McCune died at the height of his career in the early 1880s, and was succeeded as president of the Courier Company by George Bleistein. Under Bleistien's leadership, Courier moved into the 20th century and adopted many innovative printing practices, including lithography, electrotyping, and metal engraving, Over the course of the firm's history, their clients included P.T. Barnum, for whom they were the exclusive printer in 1887, and the Ringling Brothers circus. Courier printed most of the Ringling Brother's posters from 1890 until 1906. Per the 1901 book, Buffalo – Old and New (which was published by Courier), their factory covered 130,000 square feet in downtown Buffalo, employed 300 people, and operated sixty-three printing presses. In the ultimate irony, the Courier Company, which had pioneered fireproof construction practices in Buffalo, met its end on Friday, February 14, 1908, when its offices were ravaged by a fire, destroying a $180,000 order for circus advertisements and many of their larger presses. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Exhibits repairs to minor fold separations. Light wear and toning along original fold lines. Exhibits some offsetting.