1866 Johnson Map of New York City and Brooklyn

NewYorkCity2-johnson-1866
$275.00
Johnson's New York and Brooklyn.
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1866 Johnson Map of New York City and Brooklyn

NewYorkCity2-johnson-1866

Johnson's first vertical plan of New York.

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Title


Johnson's New York and Brooklyn.
  1866 (dated)    24 x 17 in (60.96 x 43.18 cm)

Description


This is A. J. Johnson's attractive vertical plan of New York City. Depicts all of Manhattan, Brooklyn as it was at the time, and parts of Queens, Long Island City, Astoria, Jersey City and Hoboken. Covers Brooklyn from Greenwood Cemetery in the south northward to include Prospect Park, Bedford, Williamsburgh and Greenpoint. Extends eastward as far as Evergreen Cemetery. Detailed to the street level throughout showing individual piers, buildings and railroads. Shows many of the public buildings on Blackwell's Island (Roosevelt Island) including the decrepit Civil War Hospital that still stands at the southern end of the Island. Both Central Park and Prospect Park are shown in stupendous detail according to the Olmstead Plans. Notes ferry crossings between Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey.

Johnson's original plan of New York, introduced in the 1862 edition of his atlas, was oriented from east to west. In 1866 Johnson re-engraved his New York City map giving it a rough north-south orientation. He goal in doing so was to accommodate interest in the Upper East and Upper West Sides, both of which, following the completion of Central Park, were rapidly developing. Surrounded by the fretwork border common to Johnson's atlas maps from 1863 to 1869. Prepared as plates no. 31 and 32 for the 1866 issue of A. J. Johnson's New Illustrated Family Atlas…

Cartographer


Alvin Jewett Johnson (September 23, 1827 - April 22, 1884) was a prolific American map publisher active from 1856 to the mid-1880s. Johnson was born into a poor family in Wallingford, Vermont where he received only a based public education. He is known to have worked as school teacher for several years before moving to Richmond, Virginia. Johnson got his first taste of the map business and a salesman and book canvasser for J. H. Colton and company. The earliest Johnson maps were published with D. Griffing Johnson (no clear relation) and date to the mid-1850s, however it was not until 1860 that the Johnson firm published its first significant work, the Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas. The publication of the Family Atlas followed a somewhat mysterious 1859 deal with the well-established but financially strapped J. H. Colton cartographic publishing firm. Although map historian Water Ristow speculates that Colton sold his copyrights to Johnson and his business partner, another Vermonter named Ross C. Browning (1832 - 1899), a more likely theory is that Johnson and Browning financially supported the Colton firm in exchange for the right to use Colton's existing copyrighted map plates. Regardless of which scenario actually occurred it is indisputable that the first Johnson atlas maps were mostly reissues of earlier Colton maps. Early on Johnson described his firm as the "Successors to J. H. Colton and Company". Johnson's business strategy involved transferring the original Colton steel plate engravings to cheaper lithographic stones, allowing his firm to produce more maps at a lower price point. In 1861, following the outbreak of the American Civil War the Johnson and Browning firm moved their office from Richmond, Virginia to New York City. Johnson and Browning published two editions of the Johnson Atlas in 1860 and 1861. Sometime in 1861 Browning's portion of the firm was purchased by Benjamin P. Ward, whose name subsequently replaced Browning's on the imprint. The 1863 issue of the Family Atlas was one of the most unusual, it being a compilation of older Johnson and Browning maps, updated 1862 Johnson and Ward map issues, and newer 1863 maps with a revised border design. The 1864 issue of the Family Atlas is the first true Johnson and Ward atlas. Johnson published one more edition of the atlas in partnership with Ward in 1865, after which Johnson seems to have bought out Ward's share the firm. The next issue of the Atlas, 1866, is the first purely "Johnson" atlas with all new map plates, updated imprints, and copyrights. The Family Atlas went through roughly 27 years of publication, from 1860 to 1887, outliving Johnson himself who died in 1884. Johnson maps from the Family Atlas are notable for their unique borders, of which there are four different designs, the "strapwork border" from 1860 to 1863, the "fretwork border" from 1863 to 1869 and the "spirograph border" in 1870 – 1882, and a more elaborate version of the same from 1880-1887. In addition to the Family Atlas Johnson issued numerous wall maps, pocket maps, and in the 1880s the Cyclopedia. Johnson maps are known for their size, accuracy, detail, and stunning, vivid hand coloring. Johnson maps, purely American in their style and execution, chronicle some of the most important and periods in American history including the Civil War, the Westward Expansion, and the Indian Wars. Today Johnson's maps, especially those of the American west, are highly sought after by map collectors and historians.

Source


Johnson, A. J., Johnson's New Illustrated Family Atlas. (1866 Johnson Edition)    

Condition


Good condition. Original centerfold exhibits some wear, toning, and verso repair. Text on verso.

References


Haskel, D. C., Manhattan Maps, A Co-operative List, page 69.