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1935 Ruth Taylor White Map of the Hawaiian Islands

Territory of Hawaii. / Samoa. - Main View

1935 Ruth Taylor White Map of the Hawaiian Islands


Entertaining pictorial map of the Hawaiian Islands!


Territory of Hawaii. / Samoa.
  1935 (undated)     8.5 x 11.75 in (21.59 x 29.845 cm)     1 : 1800000


This is a 1935 Ruth Taylor White pictorial map or 'cartograph' of the Hawaiian Islands and Samoa. The map depicts the Hawaiian Islands of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Oahu, Kauai, and part of Niihau. Four islands in the Samoa are depicted, including Manua and Tutuila, which were American possessions, and Upolu and Savaii, which were possessions of New Zealand. This 'cartograph' epitomizes the style and aesthetic of Ruth Taylor White, whose career as an artist and illustrator began with commissions of the Hawaiian Islands. These maps are not meant to be geographically exact, rather their goal is to entertain. This map effectively promotes Hawaii as a tourist destination, by giving its relative location to the United States as 2000 miles 'this way' below a steamer arriving with tourists. Popular locations around the islands, including Hawaii National Park and Pearl Harbor are labeled, along with Haleakala, Mauna Loa, Kilauea, and Mauna Kea. Cities such as Honolulu and Hilo are labeled as well. Tourist activities, such as big game fishing, surfing, and golfing are also illustrated. Tropical fauna, such as palm trees and pineapples, along with cash crops of sugar, coffee, tobacco, and sugar cane complete the aesthetic.

This pictorial map or 'cartograph' was published in Frank and Ruth Taylor's book Our U.S.A.: A Gay Geography.


Ruth D. Taylor White (March 1896 - 20??), a.k.a. Ruth Taylor Day, was an American pictorial mapmaker, what she liked to call 'carto-graphy'. Ruth was born Oregon to the painter John S. Taylor (1858 - 1927). Her interest in cartographic mapmaking was probably inspired by her sister Della Taylor Hoss (1900 - 1997), also an important pictorial cartographer. One of her first published works was a cover of The Stanford Illustrated Review, where her brother Frank attended university. Frank was an accomplished journalist and writer, and Ruth provided the illustrations for two of his books, popular works about the national parks, ’Oh Ranger!’ A Book About the National Parks and Grand Canyon Country. In the spring of 1930, White traveled to Hawaii, where she received a commission from the Hawaii Tourist Bureau to create pictorial maps of the Hawaiian Islands. Sets of five maps began appearing in 1931, with maps of Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, and the island chain as part of the set. These were most likely handed out to visitors by the Bureau. White’s most famous work, a pictorial atlas entitled, Our USA: A Gay Geography was published in 1935 and was filled with ‘cartography’ of each state, which she published with her brother as Ruth Taylor. White is also known for her map of Treasure Island, the site of the Golden Gate International Exposition. A third sister, Bernice Taylor Fitzgerald, was also an artist, but did not make maps. Ruth was still an active artist as late as 1997. There is no record of her death, suggesting she may well be a centenarian. Learn More...


Taylor, Frank J. and Ruth Taylor, Our U.S.A.: A Gay Geography (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company) 1935.    


Very good. Text on verso.


Rumsey 7823.032.