A Chart of the Coast of North America, from the Strait of Belle Isle to Boston including the Banks and Island of Newfoundland, The Gulf and River of St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Bay of Fundy, and c.
1848 (dated) 40 x 60.5 in (101.6 x 153.67 cm)
1 : 23000
A scarce 1848 John Stratton Hobbs British blueback nautical chart or maritime map of the Canadian Maritime Provinces and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The map covers from Labrador to Boston, including Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Anticosti Island, and New Brunswick, as far as Cape Cod, including the entire New England coastline from Connecticut to Maine. Inset maps detail Halifax Harbor, Boston Harbor, St. John, the Island of St. Paul, Port St. Andrew, Liverpool Bay, St. Johns, and the Island of St. Pierre. Exhibit copious soundings and annotations of practical use to the mariner.
Blueback ChartsBlueback nautical charts began appearing in London in the late 18th century. Bluebacks, as they came to be called, were privately published large format nautical charts known for their distinctive blue paper backing. The backing, a commonly available blue manila paper traditionally used by publishers to warp unbound pamphlets, was adopted as a practical way to reinforce the low-quality paper used by private chart publishers in an effort to cut costs. The earliest known blueback charts include a 1760 chart issued by Mount and Page, and a 1787 chart issued by Robert Sayer. The tradition took off in the early 19th century, when British publishers like John Hamilton Moore, Robert Blachford, James Imray, William Heather, John William Norie, Charles Wilson, David Steel, R. H. Laurie, and John Hobbs, among others, rose to dominate the chart trade. Bluebacks became so popular that the convention was embraced by chartmakers outside of England, including Americans Edmund March Blunt and George Eldridge, as well as Scandinavian, French, German, Russian, and Spanish chartmakers. Blueback charts remained popular until the late 19th century, when government subsidized organizations like the British Admiralty Hydrographic Office and the United States Coast Survey, began issuing their own superior charts on high quality paper that did not require reinforcement.
Publication History and CensusThis map was compiled by John Stratton Hobbs and published by John Norie and Charles Wilson in London. There appears to be but one edition, 1848. The map may have been derived from an earlier map produced by Steel in 1834 - 1836, but we have been unable to verify this. The map is scarce with the OCLC citing only a single example at the British Library. No other examples known.
John Stratton Hobbs (September 27, 1813 - December 19, 1874) was a British chart maker, hydrographer, and engraver active in London during the middle part of the 19th century. He was born in London to William Henry Hobbs, a ship-broker, and his wife Eleanor. Most of Hobbs' work was published in conjunction with Charles Wilson and James Norie. Hobbs began working for the firm sometime in the early 1820s in the hydrographic department. As time went on, Hobbs slowly took over the hydrographic department at Norie and Wilson. Though many maps issued by Norie and Wilson do acknowledge Hobbs, it is presumed that his hand was behind an equal or greater number that do not. In 1848 he was elected to the Royal Geographical Society, where he was a member for the remainder of his life. Hobbs married Sophia Colwell on January 20, 1862.
John William Norie (June 3, 1772 - December 24, 1843) was a British teacher of navigation, hydrographer, chart maker, and publisher of maritime manuals active in London, England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Norie was born in Wapping, London, an area long associated with the maritime sciences. Norie's career as a chart maker commenced under the tutelage of William Heather, a prominent purveyor and publisher of nautical charts, pilot books, and navigational tools who took over the firm of Mount and Page in 1765. Heather and Norie were likely acquainted through John Hamilton Moore, another important chart maker with whom both seem to have been associated early in their careers. Heather hired Noire to teach basic navigation at his shop at 157 Leadenhall Street. Under Heather Norie also distinguished himself as a draftsman, completing many of the early charts associated with the Heather firm. When Heather died in 1812 John Norie partnered with George Wilson, a moneyed 'man about town' with little experience in the maritime trades, to acquire the map and chart business at 9500 British Pounds. It proved a good deal for Norie, who retained all copyright privileges and drew 1/4 quarter share of business profits, as well an impressive quarterly salary and, for doing all of the work, 1/3rd of Wilson's share. The firm, referred to as the 'Naval Warehouse' quickly acquired a reputation for quality navigational materials and became a favorite of merchant seamen. It was even referenced in Charles Dickens' classic novel Dombey and Son. In 1819, Noire and Wilson acquired the failing chart business of David Steel, which significantly increased the size, though not quality, of their chart catalogue. With the rise of the British Admiralty and its own maritime chart productions, the business of "Chart Purveyor" in London dramatically changed. Admiralty charts and pilot books, designed for military use, were offered through established intermediaries, like Norie, at bargain prices. Most chart makers of the period found it profitable to use the highly technical Admiralty charts to update their own more decorative vernacular charts. For a brief time this practice proved exceptionally profitable but eventually began to draw criticism. Nonetheless, Noire retired to Edinburgh in 1840 and died a wealthy man in 1843. In 1840 the business passed to a nephew of George Wilson, Charles Wilson, who renamed the firm "Norie & Wilson". William Heather Norie, J. W. Norie's own son, produced few charts, instead pursuing a career in the legal field. Norie & Wilson merged with James Imray's prosperous chart business in 1899, becoming Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson, a profitable concern that remains active in the maritime charting industry.
Charles Wilson (1807 - May 16, 1882) was a British-Indian publisher of nautical charts and maps based in London, England. Born in Lucknow, India, Wilson was the son Lieutenant-Colonel William Wilson and his wife Hoosainee Begum, an Indian princess, who was the daughter of the Nizam of Ashrafabad. Wilson was educated in England and worked in the wine trade before joining the Norie firm in 1838. Norie had already partnered with another Wilson, George, who was a nephew to Charles. When Norie retired in 1840, Charles Wilson took over the firm publishing as 'Charles Wilson (Late J.W. Noire and Wilson)'. He married Jane Arabella Bingle on July 1, 1846. Wilson died in 1882 passing the firm on to his sons, George and William Wilson. The brothers merged the firm with that of J. Imray and Sons in 1899 and, as Imray, Laurie, Norie &Wilson Ltd., they continue to publish to the present day.
Good. Working nautical chart. Even toning. Verso reinforcement. Some discoloration. Original blue paper backing and edging. Discoloration right side.