1854 (undated) 16 x 13 in (40.64 x 33.02 cm)
1 : 17000
This is a beautiful example of S. A. Mitchell Jr.'s 1854 map of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Depicts the city of Philadelphia along with parts Camden. Offers wonderful detail at the street level including references to the individual buildings, trains, canals, city wards and roads. Colored coded with pastels according to city wards. Nice detail in the Delaware River notes ferry crossings, sand bars, currents, and the steamboat routes. The whole is engraved in Mitchell's distinctive style with green border work and vivid pastels. A table to the right of the map proper, in the midst of the Delaware River, assigns Public Buildings, Hotels, Churches, and Banks numerical codes.
One of the more attractive atlas maps of Philadelphia to appear in the mid-19th century. This map was prepared by S. A. Mitchell for publication by the Philadelphia firm of Thomas Cowperthwait and Co. as plate no. 14 in the 1854 edition of Mitchell's New General Atlas.
Samuel Augustus Mitchell (March 20, 1792 - December 20, 1868) began his map publishing career in the early 1830s. Having worked as a school teacher, Mitchell was frustrated with the low quality and inaccuracy of school texts of the period. His first maps were an attempt to rectify this problem. In the next 20 years Mitchell would become the most prominent American map publisher of the mid-19th century. Mitchell worked with prominent engravers J. H. Young, H. S. Tanner, and H. N. Burroughs before attaining the full copyright on his maps in 1847. In 1849 Mitchell either partnered with or sold his plates to Thomas, Cowperthwait and Company who continued to publish the Mitchell's Universal Atlas and Mitchell's General Atlas. By about 1856 most of the Mitchell copyrights were bought by Charles Desilver who continued to publish his maps, many with modified borders and color schemes, until Mitchell's son, Samuel Augustus Mitchell Junior, entered the picture. In 1859, S.A. Mitchell Jr. purchased most of the copyrights back from Desilver and, from 1860 on, published his own New General Atlas. The younger Mitchell became as prominent as his father and published atlases well into the late 1880s when most of the copyrights were again sold and the Mitchell firm closed its doors for the final time.
Mitchell, S. A., A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics Of The World, (Thomas Cowperthwait & Co., Philadelphia) 1854.
Very good. Overall age toning. Minor spotting at places.
Rumsey 0545.018. Phillips (Atlases) 814.