1961 Courtland Smith Pictorial Map of Long Island, New York

A Map of Long Island.

1961 Courtland Smith Pictorial Map of Long Island, New York


Iconic pictorial map of Long Island, New York.

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A Map of Long Island.
  1961 (dated)    19.5 x 26.5 in (49.53 x 67.31 cm)     1 : 337920


This is a charming 1961 pictorial map of Long Island by Courtland Smith. This historical map covers from New London in Connecticut and Fishers Island south as far as the Lower New York Bay and Staten Island. Long Island is depicted in its entirety from Brooklyn and Queens east to Montauk. Throughout, the map notes cities, towns, beaches, radio stations, parks, ferry lines, lighthouses and several other important landmarks, scenes and activities. Several landmarks have been attractively illustrated, including the Montauk Point Light, Fire Island Light, Southampton, Coney Island, etc. Facts about Gardiner's Island - 'here Capt. Kidd buried loot' and Oyster Park 'Burial Place of Theodore Roosevelt' are noted.

The top left quadrant of the map includes the note, 'The backbone of L.I. was formed by debris brought from the New England Mountains by two glaciers about forty thousand years ago' as well as an inset featuring a 'Diagram showing how far the two Stages of Ice Advance covered L.I.' Five beautiful illustrated views along the top border include the Birthplace of John Howard Payne East Hampton, a Typical Windmill, Jones Beach, Coast Guard and Old Manor House. A decorative compass rose and an art deco style wind figure are also featured. In Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, pictorial illustrations of Boston Boat, ships, striped bass, a swordfish, whale fishing, and the Sag Harbor Whalers that 'sailed to the ends of the Earth' can be seen. The map is surrounded by an elaborate border, with underwater scenes at the top and historic events and places along the remaining three sides, including the '13 Tribes of Indians when First Settlers Arrived,' 'First Settled at Brooklyn in 1614,' 'First Rail Road 1836,' 'Brooklyn Bridge 1867-1883,' etc.

This is one of the best examples of this map we have ever seen. Although it has a few condition issues, it was not glued to a board or varnished over, which means it is in much better condition that most. It was drawn by Courtland Smith from data compiled by Richard Foster and published by The Billboard Barn, Southampton, L.I. It was printed by Gerson Offset Litho Co., Inc., New York. This map, first printed in 1933 became extremely popular and has since been widely reprinted. The present example is the 1961 edition.


Courtland Smith (1907-2005), an architect from Southampton, Long Island, worked in his chosen profession for 70 years, until he retired at the age of 95. Smith designed buildings all over the world during his career, including many in the Hamptons, and even influenced local architectural standards due to the popularity of his ‘clean, uncluttered style’. Nonetheless, his best known work was the Pictorial Map of Long Island. Smith drew this map during the years of the Great Depression as a 'keep-busy project' on the suggestion of his friend Richard Forster, who is credited here for compiling the data for this map. It quickly became extremely popular and according to Courtland Smith's obituary in the Southampton Press, it became the 'steady seller in gift shops throughout Long Island for more than 75 years.' When Smith died, the mayor of Southampton remarked about this map:

That map has had a significant impact on the development of not only Southampton, but all the other towns on Long Island that it features.


Good. Backed on archival tissue. Repaired tear extending 5 inches from bottom margin in right corner and 6.5 inches from top margin in right corner.


Rumsey 8602.000. New York Public Library, Map Division, 10-301.
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