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1920s U. S. Coast Survey Nautical Chart or Maritime Map of New York Bay

Map of New-York Bay and Harbor and the Environs. - Main View

1920s U. S. Coast Survey Nautical Chart or Maritime Map of New York Bay


Stunning restrike of the first edition copper plate nautical chart of New York Bay and Harbor.


Map of New-York Bay and Harbor and the Environs.
  1920 (dated 1845)     25 x 36 in (63.5 x 91.44 cm)     1 : 80000


This is a c.1920s restrike of the first edition 1845 United States Coast Survey nautical chart or maritime map of New York Bay and Harbor and its environs. Depicting the region from Newark to South Oyster Bay and from the City of New York to Sandy Hook and Black Point, this beautiful map represents the 'end of an era' for the United States Coast Survey.

Final issue of 19th Century Coast Survey Charts

In the 1920s or 1930s, when the U.S. Coast Survey decided to destroy all of their original copper printing plates, the decision was made to print a 'last run' from each of these plates. The imprints differed greatly from other versions of Coast Survey maps. The first issues of the coast survey charts were printed using the electrotype process, but as this map was printed using the original metal plates, the imprint is much cleaner, making this final run off the plates exceptionally decorative and desirable.

Highly detailed and meticulously engraved, myriad depth soundings fill New York Bay, Raritan Bay, and the New York/New Jersey Bight. Numerous sailing hazards are also included throughout, all of which are labeled, along with the channels. New York City is illustrated up to 28th Street, including Washington Square Park, Union Square Park, and Madison Square Park. Both Williamsburg and Brooklyn are illustrated and labeled on Long Island. Red Hook, Gowanus, Owl's Head, New Utrecht, Fort, Hamilton, Gravesend, Flatlands, Flatbush, Bushwick, and Jamaica are also labeled. Individual homesteads are illustrated along the roads throughout Long Island, with larger concentrations in the aforementioned communities. Coney Island and Rockaway Beach are illustrated along the southern coast of Long Island. In New Jersey, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Newark are among the locations labeled, along with the New Jersey Rail Road.

Situated along the bottom border, several views allow the mariner to have a better understanding of what they would see when traveling this stretch of the coast. These views include several views of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse from different directions, and a view of the opening of the Old North Channel. A table containing information concerning the direction and force of currents throughout New York Bay and Harbor is included on the lower right. Sailing directions for the region are included in the upper left corner, while other notes pertaining to the chart's use are included in the upper right corner.

This restrike was produced in the 1920s from the original first edition 1845 metal plate of the United States Coast Survey nautical chart of New York Bay and Harbor. The chart was produced under the direction of F. R. Hassler, the Superintendent of the Survey of the Coast of the United States, with triangulation, topography, and hydrography work completed by several teams of workers and their assistants.


The Office of the Coast Survey (1807 - present) founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors. The spirit of the Coast Survey was defined by its first two superintendents. The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss immigrant and West Point mathematics professor Ferdinand Hassler. Under the direction of Hassler, from 1816 to 1843, the ideological and scientific foundations for the Coast Survey were established. These included using the most advanced techniques and most sophisticated equipment as well as an unstinting attention to detail. Hassler devised a labor intensive triangulation system whereby the entire coast was divided into a series of enormous triangles. These were in turn subdivided into smaller triangulation units that were then individually surveyed. Employing this exacting technique on such a massive scale had never before been attempted. Consequently, Hassler and the Coast Survey under him developed a reputation for uncompromising dedication to the principles of accuracy and excellence. Unfortunately, despite being a masterful surveyor, Hassler was abrasive and politically unpopular, twice losing congressional funding for the Coast Survey. Nonetheless, Hassler led the Coast Survey until his death in 1843, at which time Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took the helm. Bache was fully dedicated to the principles established by Hassler, but proved more politically astute and successfully lobbied Congress to liberally fund the endeavor. Under the leadership of A. D. Bache, the Coast Survey completed its most important work. Moreover, during his long tenure with the Coast Survey, from 1843 to 1865, Bache was a steadfast advocate of American science and navigation and in fact founded the American Academy of Sciences. Bache was succeeded by Benjamin Pierce who ran the Survey from 1867 to 1874. Pierce was in turn succeeded by Carlile Pollock Patterson who was Superintendent from 1874 to 1881. In 1878, under Patterson's superintendence, the U.S. Coast Survey was reorganized as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C & GS) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA as the National Geodetic Survey. Learn More...


Very good. Even overall toning. Original plate mark visible. Blank on verso.