Bird's Eye View of the City of Bangor Penobscot County, Maine, 1875.
1875 (dated) 25.5 x 31 in (64.77 x 78.74 cm)
An exceptional 1875 Bird's-Eye View Map of Bangor, Maine, by Augustus Koch. Koch presents Bangor as seen from the south, looking north, with the Franklin, Central , and State Street Bridges over the Kenduskaeg Stream forming a central focal point. Some 57 civic buildings, hotels, churches, and business are identified with a numeric key at the base of the map. Koch had an engineer's passion for accuracy that is very much on display here - even the names of the ships, 'The City of Richmond' and 'Kayandon,' among others, were known Bangor vessels. This view was drawn by Augustus Koch and published by J. J. Stoner. It was printed by Charles Shober and Company, Lithographers, Chicago. Today Koch's view of Bangor is extremely rare with only three known examples surviving in institutional collections.
Augustus Koch (October 15, 1834 - 1901), active in the late 19th century, was one of the most prolific and widely traveled artists specializing in American city bird's-eye views. Koch was born in Birnbaum, Germany where, according to his superior officers in the Engineers Office of the Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War, he received an excellent education. Some have speculated that he may have immigrated to the United States young and been educated here, but this seems unlikely as he retained a very strong German accent throughout his life. Koch enlisted as a private in the Wisconsin regiment during the American Civil War. He applied and was approved for an officer's commission in 1863. He was assigned as engineering officer to one of the black regiments serving in the Lower Mississippi Valley. There is produced several maps including one of Vicksburg. Koch started producing bird's-eye views after the Civil War with his first published view, Cedar Falls, Iowa, appearing around 1868. Koch may have apprenticed with Albert Ruger, another important Wisconsin view maker, and it may have been Ruger who introduced him to Joseph Stoner, who published many of his most significant views. According to John W. Reps, in Views and Viewmakers of Urban America (Page185),
Koch drew his cities with considerable care, consistently depicting his subjects as if seen from very high viewpoints. The horizon lines appear close to the tops of the images, and the body of each print is thus full of urban detail. Koch also used a distinctive format, making his horizontal dimension not much greater than the vertical.
The date of Koch's death is unknown. His career saw the publication of some 110 views in at least 23 different states.
Joseph John Stoner (December 21 1829 - May, 1917) was a Madison, Wisconsin based publisher of bird's-eye city views active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Stoner was born in Highspire, Pennsylvania and apprenticed as a carver of ornamental chairs before turning to publishing. He partnered with the bookseller Ephraim T. Kellogg of Madison, Wisconsin, for whom he was a traveling agent. His career in views began around 1867 when he met and befriended the bird's-eye view artist Albert Ruger, who was sketching Madison that year. Ruger and Stoner partnered and began publishing city views under the imprint 'Ruger & Stoner.' The partners traveled extensively through the Midwest publishing some 11 city views under their joint imprint - although there may be as many as 62 others unattributed. The partnership partially dissolved in 1872 although they continued to work together on a contractual basis. Stoner subsequently traveled even more extensively hiring young artists to sketch city views in such wide ranging destinations as Texas, Maine, and Oregon, among others. He produced a total of some 314 views with various artists including: Albert Ruger, Herman Brosius, Thaddeus M. Fowler, Augustus Koch, Albert F. Poole, Henry Wellge, Joseph Warner, Camille N. Drie (Dry). Stoner died in Berkeley California in 1917.
Very good. A few minor verso reinforcements. Else clean.
Reps, John, Views and Viewmakrs of Urban America (University of Missour, Columbia, 1984), #1178. Library of Congress, Map Division, G3734.B2A3 1875 .K6.