Cook. Queen City of Nullarbor. On the Long Straight. South Australia.
1960 (undated) 28.25 x 17.25 in (71.755 x 43.815 cm)
This is a c. 1960 map of Cook, Australia. The map depicts the continent of Australia, labeling all six provinces and several cities, including Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Darwin, and Perth. A sketch of a train, most likely the Indian Pacific sits at the center of the map. The map is framed by vignettes of the local school, an emu, the railway station, the old jail (which closely resembles a pair of outhouses), a crow, the hospital, an eagle, and a Kangaroo. The focus of the map is the Trans-Australian Railway, from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie, which was completed in 1917. This stretch of railway connected two other railway systems, creating a link between Sydney and Perth. Cook, and several other settlements, were created along the line to facilitate maintenance. The settlements were separated by thirty kilometers and was made up of six houses per siding. Some of these settlements remained small, but others, like Cook, developed to house maintenance gangs and accommodate changeover railway crews. However, the two state railway systems were both narrow gauge until gauge conversion was completed in February 1970. Cook was named for former Australian Prime Minister Sir Joseph Cook and sits along the longest stretch of straight railway in the world, at 297 miles (478 km). Today, the Indian Pacific passenger train stops at Cook to refuel and allow its passengers to stretch their legs. A fluctuating population of between three and eleven people live there, but other than that it is a ghost town. This piece was most likely created as an advertisement for the hospital, which has since closed. The hospital advertised with the slogan, 'If you're a crook, come to Cook.' The slogan, 'Our hospital needs your help, get sick' also appears. Printed for tourists who ventured around town on their trans-continental train journey, this map is very difficult to obtain as this is the only known example. This map was designed and hand printed in Australia.
Very good. Printed on linen. Laid down on canvas poster-style.