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1877 U.S. Coast Survey Map or Chart of Boston Bay and Harbor

Coast Chart No. 109, Boston Bay and Approaches.  /  Coast Charts 109 & 110, Massachusetts Bay with the Coast from Cape Ann to Cape Cod. - Main View

1877 U.S. Coast Survey Map or Chart of Boston Bay and Harbor



Coast Chart No. 109, Boston Bay and Approaches. / Coast Charts 109 & 110, Massachusetts Bay with the Coast from Cape Ann to Cape Cod.
  1877 (dated)     32 x 40 in (81.28 x 101.6 cm)


A rare 1877 coastal chart of Boston Bay, Boston Harbor, and environs. Covers the Massachusetts coastline from Cape Ann southward past Gloucester, Marblehead, Lynn, Boston and Cohasset to Green Harbor River. Offers astounding inland detail noting individual buildings, roads, communities, fields, and smaller waterways. There are three shore profile views: Boston Entrance, Minot's Ledge, and Cape Ann. In addition to inland details, this chart contains a wealth of practical information for the mariner from countless depth soundings, sailing instructions, tidal information, lighthouse locations, and notes on magnetic variance. Note this is not one of the more common coast charts issued with the annual Superintendent's Report but rather a rare independent issue chart printed on heavy stock and backed with linen. The triangulation for this chart was prepared by C. O. Boutelle and Capt. T. J. Cram. The topography by H. L. Whiting, G. B. Gluck, A. M Harrison and R.M Bache. The hydrography was accomplished by a team under the command of C. H. Davis, C H. Mc. Blair, C. R. P. Rodgers, W. G. Temple and H.S. Stellwagen. The entire production was supervised by Carlile Pollock Patterson, Superintendent of the Survey of the Coast of the United States from 1874 to 1881.


The Office of the Coast Survey (1807 - present) founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors. The spirit of the Coast Survey was defined by its first two superintendents. The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss immigrant and West Point mathematics professor Ferdinand Hassler. Under the direction of Hassler, from 1816 to 1843, the ideological and scientific foundations for the Coast Survey were established. These included using the most advanced techniques and most sophisticated equipment as well as an unstinting attention to detail. Hassler devised a labor intensive triangulation system whereby the entire coast was divided into a series of enormous triangles. These were in turn subdivided into smaller triangulation units that were then individually surveyed. Employing this exacting technique on such a massive scale had never before been attempted. Consequently, Hassler and the Coast Survey under him developed a reputation for uncompromising dedication to the principles of accuracy and excellence. Unfortunately, despite being a masterful surveyor, Hassler was abrasive and politically unpopular, twice losing congressional funding for the Coast Survey. Nonetheless, Hassler led the Coast Survey until his death in 1843, at which time Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took the helm. Bache was fully dedicated to the principles established by Hassler, but proved more politically astute and successfully lobbied Congress to liberally fund the endeavor. Under the leadership of A. D. Bache, the Coast Survey completed its most important work. Moreover, during his long tenure with the Coast Survey, from 1843 to 1865, Bache was a steadfast advocate of American science and navigation and in fact founded the American Academy of Sciences. Bache was succeeded by Benjamin Pierce who ran the Survey from 1867 to 1874. Pierce was in turn succeeded by Carlile Pollock Patterson who was Superintendent from 1874 to 1881. In 1878, under Patterson's superintendence, the U.S. Coast Survey was reorganized as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C & GS) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA as the National Geodetic Survey. More by this mapmaker...


Independent Issue.    


Very good condition. Light overall toning. Minor creasing and damage to upper left and lower right margins - does not extend past colored border, see photo. Original linen backing. Else clean.