A large, scarce 1965 Blondel La Rougery bathymetric pictorial map of the Mediterranean Sea celebrating the nascent scuba craze and detailing regional diving schools and sites.
A Closer LookCoverage embraces the Mediterranean Basin. Color shading indicates sea depth, while more detailed soundings are provided near coastlines. Diving schools, including those managed by the Club Méditerranée (Club Med) are noted, along with locations of the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques and agents of La Spirotechnique, a division of the firm Air Liquide which sold regulators and other diving equipment, including a revolutionary regulator co-designed by Jacques Cousteau. Finally, the locations of ancient and modern shipwrecks are marked, for any diver curious to explore them. Surrounding the map are illustrations of sea creatures, shipwrecks, and marine flora.
Making Diving AccessiblePrior to the Second World War, diving was very difficult and highly dangerous, hardly the stuff for tourists and casual swimmers. But new inventions (such as the Cousteau-Gagnan regulator), businesses, and organizations made the sport much more accessible in the postwar period. Diving took off on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1950s and by the 1960s was an established subculture within the world of maritime sport and recreation.
Publication History and CensusThis map was drawn and published by the firm Blondel La Rougery in 1965, with assistance from Studio P.I.T. This is the only known example in private hands. We note one institutional holding at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Blondel la Rougery (c. 1902 - 2002) was a Parisian publisher of maps and books, primarily relating to aviation and maritime themes. It was founded in 1902 by Edouard Blondel la Rougery, who was succeeded around the year 1955 by Max Blondel la Rougery, who ran the firm until 1976. It continued to operate afterwards, primarily publishing maps, with decreasing frequency until the early 21st century, when its output stopped altogether. More by this mapmaker...
Very good. Light foxing in left margin. Other minor imperfections, mostly confined to margins.