1881 Northrup Miniature Map Envelope of Lake Chautauqua, New York

Map Showing the Location of Chautauqua Lake S. S. Assembly Grounds. - Main View

1881 Northrup Miniature Map Envelope of Lake Chautauqua, New York


Adult education and cultural enrichment on the beautiful shores of Lake Chautauqua.


Map Showing the Location of Chautauqua Lake S. S. Assembly Grounds.
  1881 (dated)     3.5 x 6.25 in (8.89 x 15.875 cm)


This is an 1881 envelope with a miniature map issued for the 1881 season of the Chautauqua Meetings - adult education camps held annually on the shores of Lake Chautauqua, New York.
Chautauqua Movement
The Chautauqua Institution is a unique educational community located in Chautauqua, New York, renowned for its commitment to the arts, education, religion, and recreation. Founded in 1874, it originally served as a training camp for Sunday school teachers, but evolved into a cultural hub, offering lectures, performances, and classes across diverse disciplines. Its picturesque grounds on the shores of Chautauqua Lake come alive each summer as thousands gather for a season of intellectual exploration, artistic expression, and spiritual reflection, all within the framework of lifelong learning and shared experiences. The success of the initial 'camp' evolved into the Chautauqua Movement, a national effort to foster lifelong learning, religious education, and cultural enrichment. The movement saw the establishment of numerous branch 'Chautauquas' across the nation, often in tent assemblies open-air auditoriums. These gatherings aimed to provide rural communities with intellectual and cultural experiences akin to those available in urban centers. The movement, although less popular than in its heyday, remains alive and annual summer meetings on the original grounds are much anticipated.
Publication History and Census
This map envelope was printed by William Phelps Northrup, later of the Matthews Northrup firm of Buffalo. This is among the earliest work that can be assigned to Northrup. Likely, given his location in nearby Buffalo, Northrup was a Chautauquan. This is the only known surviving example.


Matthews-Northrup Works (fl. c. 1895 - 1930) were a Buffalo, New York based, in their own words, "writing, designing, engraving, printing, [and] binding" firm. The firm was founded by James Newson Matthews (November 21, 1828 - December 20, 1888) as the J. N. Matthews Company. William Phelps Northrup (April 2, 1850 - February 2, 1929) later joined the company as an apprentice and then partner, at which point the firm was reincorporated as the Matthews-Northrup Works. The Matthews-Northrup Works rose to prominence as publishers and printers of railroad maps, with dozens to their credit. When James died, his shares were inhered by George Edward Matthews (1855 - 1910), who ran the business until his death in 1910. Also in 1910, they famously redesigned the cover of National Geographic Magazine. Despite some six previous cover changes in just 21 years, the Matthews-Northrup layout proved so popular that it was used for nearly 50 years. The firm can also take credit for the Winchell typeface, designed in 1903 under E. E. Winchell's tenure as art director. Curiously, the partners of Matthews-Northrup maintained an unusual affectation in which only the officers of the company could wear beards or mustaches. In this same spirit, the firm also had its own private social club, the Fellowcraft Club, where the all-male employees could relax, play pool, drink and dine. Matthews-Northrup maintained offices on Washington Street, Buffalo, where they were based, as well as Madison Square, New York City, Garden Tower, Boston, and the Citizens Building in Cleveland. More by this mapmaker...


Very good.