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1936 Directorate General of Posts Official Postal Atlas of China (30 Maps)

China Postal Atlas Showing the Postal Establishments and Postal Routes in Each Province. - Main View

1936 Directorate General of Posts Official Postal Atlas of China (30 Maps)


Rare, incredibly detailed, trilingual 1936 edition of the China Postal Atlas.


China Postal Atlas Showing the Postal Establishments and Postal Routes in Each Province.
  1936 (dated)     21.5 x 15.5 in (54.61 x 39.37 cm)


A scarce example of the 1936 edition of the official Chinese Postal Atlas. Compiled by Charles Jacot-Guillarmod, this atlas contains 31 maps, including an index, covering all of China in considerable detail. Most of the maps are presented on a standard projected sale of 1: 1000000, but there is some variation. Some of the maps fold out, making them even larger than the elephant folio maps. Most were derived from regional working postal maps. The present edition was updated to December, 1935. The preface is written in English, French, and Chinese. The legends on the maps are written in all three languages as well, and some of the place names are noted in Roman letters.

The history of the Chinese Postal Atlas is closely related to attempts to Romanize the Chinese Postal System. The first atlas followed the 1906 Shanghai Imperial Postal Joint-Session Conference to develop a system of Romanization following Herbert Giles' 'Nanking Syllabary'. The Giles 'Nanking syllabary' was popular with the French dominated Chinese Postal Service which considered the earlier Beijing based system developed by Thomas Francis Wade as too Anglophone. The second edition of the Postal Atlas was issued in 1919 following a Ministry of Education system to standardize the Beijing dialect in all elementary schools throughout China. This led to a resurgence of the Wade system. Nonetheless, in 1931 the French postal co-directory Henri Picard-Destelain ordered a return to the Nanking Syllabary. The Chinese Postal System remained under French management until 1943 when the Japanese invaders ousted A. M. Chapelain, the last French head of the China Post.

There are four known editions of this atlas: 1907-08 (Shanghai, replacing the 1903 postal wall map, 21 maps plus index map), 1919 (Beijing, 47 maps), 1933 (Nanjing), and 1936 (Nanjing, the present edition). The atlas was compiled by the French topographical engineer Charles Jacot-Guillarmod. It was printed in Nanjing by the Government Bureau of Engraving and Printing.


Charles Jacot-Guillarmod (1868 – August 14, 1925) was a Swiss topographical engineer active in the late 19th and early 20th century. Charles was born in Le Chaux-de-Fonds, in the Canton of Neuchatel, Switzerland. He attended the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ), where he acquired a degree in Topographical Engineering. After graduating served the Swiss Federal Topographical Bureau from 1890 – 1914, contributed significantly to the Topographical Atlas of Switzerland. He was dismissed from his government topographical posted in 1914. Independent of a paid post he turned his attentions to his interested in high alpine cartography, producing two topographical sketches of Himalayan peaks (K2 and Kanchenjunga) based upon photographs taken by his cousin, the famed mountaineer Jules Jacot-Guillarmod. From 1916 to 1922 he relocated to Beijing where he taught geodesy and topography at the Chinese Army Survey School. There, he was also contracted to compile the 1919 second edition of the China Postal Atlas. When the Chinese government could no longer pay him, he returned to Switzerland in 1923 where he compiled a large scale topographic map of Mount Olympus. His final work was a large scale map of Mount Everest commissioned by the Royal Geographical Society, London, based upon the surveying achievements of a British expedition. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Elephant folio with 30 maps. Some edge fraying. Slight age toning. Content generally strong. Comes with original dust jacket which although in average condition, with toning and tears, is a very rare find.


OCLC 39283759.