1893 H. S. Crocker Map of California w/ Wine Making Vignette


1893 H. S. Crocker Map of California w/ Wine Making Vignette


One of the earliest depictions of California Wine Making on a map.


Geographical Map of the State of California Compiled from Actual Surveys.
  1893 (dated)     32.5 x 27.25 in (82.55 x 69.215 cm)     1 : 1365000


A stunning separately-issued 1893 decorative map of California issued to promote the Crocker family business interests in the development and settlement of California. It is alone one of the earliest cartographic representations of viticulture in California. While the mapmaker, Henry Smith Crocker was on the surface a printer, his business interests were inextricably linked to those of this brother, Central Pacific railroad magnate Charles Crocker (1822 - 1888). H. S. Crocker used his publishing and printing empire to propagandize the Central Pacific as well as the general virtues of California as a place to resettle - this map being one such example, probably issued as a booster publication for the California exhibit at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition.
Outstanding Decorative Vignette
The map is most striking for the large decorative vignette occupying the upper right corner. The vignette features, front and center, one of the earliest illustrations of California wine making, entitled 'A California Vintage.' It also emphasizes the richness of California's 'fruit district' and the overall natural beauty of the state. The vignette was completed by a previously unknown San Francisco engraver by the name of Barnard, doubtless a line employee in the H.S. Crocker publishing establishment. The whole makes a strong visual argument for the agricultural and life opportunities of the Golden State.
Survey of the Map
Cartographically the map is based on General Land Office geological surveys up to 1893. The detail throughout is significant, including counties, towns, roads, railroad, mountains, rivers, lakes, mining information, township surveys, and more. Some of the more interesting elements include early detail in and around Virginia City and Carson City.
Census and Publication History
The map is a separate issue piece, probably published for the California exhibit at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition. Some suggest that there are two issues of this map. That is incurred. Crocker did issue a similar map of California with a similar and equally striking, if completely different, vignette for the California Board of Trade in 1888 (see our example California-crocker-1888). The present 1893 issue is a completely new engraving prepared for the Columbian Exposition. The map is rare with only 4 verified sales records in the last 20 years. Institutional examples are held at Stanford, U. C. Berkeley, the California Historical Society, and three other institutions.


Henry Smith Crocker (1832 - July 18, 1904) was an American printer, publisher, and railroad investor active in northern California in the middle to late 19th century. Crocker followed the Gold Rush to California, settling in Sacramento in the 1850s. He established his printing concern, H. S. Crocker, in 1856. Apparently his first office was little more than a tent with a small sign. Crocker relocated to San Francisco in 1871. He became extremely wealthy almost overnight by leveraging his ties to the Central Pacific Railroad (his brother Charles Crocker was one of the founders). In 1885, Crocker constructed a large five-story printing factory, powered by his own private steam plant, then the largest and most sophisticated printing concern on the west coast. Crocker's prosperity continued and by the time he died in 1904, he was the head of a large and extremely wealthy family. Although Crocker passed on, his company, H.S. Crocker, continued to operate and remains active to this day.


Very good. Backed on archival tissue for stability. Wear and some repaired damage on original fold lines. Fine hand color.


OCLC 25891134. Rumsey 11322.000.