1955 Shapiro Arkia Airlines Route Map

ארקיע / [Arkia]. - Main View

1955 Shapiro Arkia Airlines Route Map


Israeli Aviation History.


ארקיע / [Arkia].
  1955 (undated)     8.75 x 3 in (22.225 x 7.62 cm)     1 : 1935000


A rare and fascinating c. 1955 flight map of the routes of Arkia Airlines, printed for the airline by Joseph Shapiro (or Szapiro), a prominent map publisher in the early years of the State of Israel.
A Closer Look
Covering the State of Israel, Palestinian lands, and portions of neighboring states, this map highlights the routes of Arkia Airlines, spanning the country from north to south, including Rosh Pina Airport (a former Royal Air Force base near Mahanayim), Haifa, Tel Aviv, Beersheba, and Eilat, as well as a short-distance service between Tel Aviv and Lod (לוד), now Ben Gurion Airport (service to Jerusalem only began in 1967).
A Short History of Arkia Airlines
Arkia (ארקיע) Airlines has existed nearly since the beginning of the State of Israel. Today, it is Israel's second-largest airline, historically focusing on domestic flights, though it also operates some international flights. It was founded in 1949, with a fleet of decommissioned military planes, to connect Eilat, little more than a collection of huts at the time, to more heavily populated coastal regions to the north.
Publication History and Census
This map was printed by the 'Dr. [Joseph] Shapiro Graphic Studio' for Arkia Airlines. It is undated, but the borders here predate the 1967 Six-Day War. There is no mention of Sde Dov Airport, which replaced Lod as Arkia's base of operations near Tel Aviv in 1959, so the map must predate 1959. We have been unable to locate any other examples of this map in institutional collections in Israel or elsewhere.


Joseph Shapiro (יוסף שפירא) (1900 - December 4, 1967) also spelled Josef Szapiro, was a Polish-Israeli publisher and cartographer active in Israel in the middle part of the 20th century. Shapiro was born in Łódź, the part of Russian Poland. He studied at the Hebrew school in Łódź, then moved on to study economics and philosophy at Mannheim and Heidelberg, Germany, receiving a doctorate from Heidelberg in 1924. He immigrated to Eretz, Israel, in 1935. He began his own publishing interest around 1940, publishing maps and atlases of Israel - often covering the various wars and most up-to-date events. His final work was a series of maps illustrating the Six Day War (June 5, 1967 - June 10, 1967). His wife, Esther Lurie (1913 - 1998), was a prominent painter. When he died of a heart attack in 1967, the publishing business passed on to his son, Shaul Shapira (1947 - ????). More by this mapmaker...


Average. Several burn marks on right side border. Light soiling.