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1849 Meyer Map of the Electorate of Hesse, Germany

Kurfurstentum Hessen. - Main View

1849 Meyer Map of the Electorate of Hesse, Germany



Kurfurstentum Hessen.
  1849 (dated)     10.5 x 8 in (26.67 x 20.32 cm)     1 : 950000


This is a scarce 1849 map of the Electorate of Hesse or Hesse-Kassel, by Joseph Meyer. It covers the modern day German state of Hesse and vicinity from Einbeck south to Frankfurt and east as far as Gotha. Throughout the map identifies various cities, towns, rivers and an assortment of additional topographical details. Two insets detailing Kreis Schaumburg and Kassel (Cassel) are included in the top and bottom right quadrants.

When this map was created, the Electorate of Hesse was a state of the German Confederation. Established in 1803 as a state of the Holy Roman Empire, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Westphalia for a brief period, before being reinstated by the Congress of Vienna in 1814. In 1866, following the Austro-Prussian War, it would be annexed once again, this time by the Kingdom of Prussia.

This map was issued as plate no. 35 in Meyer's Zeitung Atlas. Although all the maps in this atlas are not individually dated, the title page and maps were often updated while the imprint with the date was not, causing confusion to the exact date for some of the maps. Moreover some maps in the atlas were taped in at a later date as an update to the atlas. We have dated the maps in this collection to the best of our ability.


Joseph Meyer (May 9, 1796 - June 27, 1856) was a German industrialist and publisher, most notably for the encyclopedia Meyers Conversation-Lexicon. Born in Gotha, Germany, Meyer was educated as a merchant in Frankfurt am Main. He moved to London in 1816, but returned to Germany in a820 after his stock speculations and business adventures fell through. Once back in Germany, he began by investing in the textile trade (1820-24). Meyer began creating business plans concerning how to start railways soon after the first steam-hauled railway began operation in December 1835. He founded the Deutsche Eisenbahnschienen-Compangie auf Actien (German Railway Rail joint stock company) in 1845. Meyer also found great success as a publisher, utilizing the system of serial subscriptions to publications, a new idea for the time. He founded a company, Bibliographisches Institut in Gotha in 1825, which published several versions of the Bible, works of classical literature, atlases, the world in pictures on steel engravings, and an encyclopedia. More by this mapmaker...


Meyer, J., Meyer's Zeitung Atlas, 1852.     Meyer's Zeitung Atlas, formally titled Neuster Zeitungs-Atlas Fuer Alte und Neue Erdkunde was a popular German hand-atlas published in Heidelberg by Joseph Meyer between, roughly, 1848 and 1859. The atlas is well engraved in the German style with exceptionally dense detail and minimal decoration. Meyer's Atlas, and its constituent maps, are typically very difficult to date as later editions often contain earlier maps and earlier editions later paste-in updates. That said, the atlas' frequent updates and publication run during a turbulent decade provide a noteworthy cartographic record of the period.


Very good. Minor toning and spotting at places.