1956 Beach Products State 'Map-Nap' of North Dakota

North Dakota The Peace Garden State. - Main View

1956 Beach Products State 'Map-Nap' of North Dakota


Land Of Ten Million Ducks.


North Dakota The Peace Garden State.
  1956 (dated)     8 x 15 in (20.32 x 38.1 cm)


This is a 1956 'Map-Nap' of the state of North Dakota.
A Closer Look
This colorful map, printed on a napkin, marks principal cities, and is decorated pictorially with icons noting elements of the State's identity, produce, and history. Three broad color bands across the map indicate the three main natural regions of North Dakota: the narrow Red River Valley to the east, the central Drift Prairie, and the western Missouri Plateau. In addition to an array of the state's natural resources and industries, the map notes the location of many historical sites including Roosevelt's Chimney Butte Ranch, and the final resting place of Sitting Bull. Six Native American reservations are marked in red. Particularly prominent are the railroad lines spanning the state. The International Peace Garden alluded to in the title of the map is marked straddling the U.S.-Canada border. In the list of 'Interesting Facts About North Dakota' it is described as 'a symbol of world peace, dedicated by the citizens of the U.S. and Canada that these two nations shall never take up arms, one against another'. Other Interesting Facts include the state's size, population, produce, industry, and bragging points. For example, the reader learns that North Dakota offers an 'ideal climate... most conducive to keeping people fit and comfortable' and that 'the nation's only jewel-bearing plant, manned by Chippewa Indians, is found in the state.' (This, alas, does not refer to shrubbery spouting diamonds. Jewel bearings are tiny mechanical bearings, generally made of synthetic ruby or sapphire, essential to the operation of mechanical watches; when this manufacturing plant at Turtle Mountain was established in 1952, such bearings were considered crucial resources for national defense, as every soldier in the field of a modern war required a reliable timepiece.)
A Full Series?
Beach Products produced this map napkin as part of a series of 'State Map-Naps.' We are aware of examples not only dedicated to North Dakota, but also for Florida, Indiana, Michigan, California, Texas, and Minnesota. While it would be reasonable to assume a plan to produce a 'Map Nap' for every state in the Union, relatively few have appeared on the market, and it may be that the project was cut short.
Publication History and Census
Map-Naps were initially produced by Beach Products Inc. of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Production would appear to have passed thereafter to another printer, the Dacotah Paper Company of Fargo; this was copyrighted in 1956. We see no examples of the North Dakota Map-Nap in OCLC, but there is a single listing for another in the series (Michigan: Water Wonderland) in the collection of the Library of Michigan.


Beach Products, Inc. (1940s - 1960s) was an American paper goods company based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Incorporated in 1941 and running a factory employing 50 workers, they appear to have focused primarily on printed napkins, paper plates, and cups, on a variety of themes (a 1957 advertisement touts such seasonal themes as 'Pumpkin Designs' and 'Singing Cats.' Between 1954 and 1956, their offerings included a series of state maps, printed to both full size dinner napkins and smaller format cocktail napkins: these 'Map-Naps' featured a map of a given state on the forward fold, whilst the reverse fold contained an array of 'Interesting Facts' about the state portrayed. Some of these, notably the Map Nap dedicated to Texas, included further material, with all four folds containing entertaining content. While it would be natural to assume at least a plan to present a Map Nap for every state of the Union, we have identified only a handful to have survived. Given the purpose of the average napkin, it is only to be expected that these survive poorly, and it may be that many are lost to posterity. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Original folds.