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1866 U.S. Coast Survey Chart or Map of San Francisco Bay

Pacific Coast from Point Pinos to Bodega Head California. - Main View

1866 U.S. Coast Survey Chart or Map of San Francisco Bay


First map to show the continental shelf break for a significant portion of the west coast.


Pacific Coast from Point Pinos to Bodega Head California.
  1866 (dated)     39 x 29 in (99.06 x 73.66 cm)


An extraordinary 1866 U.S. Coast Survey nautical chart or map of the San Francisco Bay. Covers from Point Pinot north was far as Bodega Head. Includes all of the San Francisco Bay with river systems documented as far north as Napa and Petaluma. This is one of the rarest and most desirable charts issued by the U.S. Coast Survey as it is the first chart to depict the continental shelf break for a significant portion of the west coast. It also provides a stunning overview of this region shortly following the California Gold Rush. Includes the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Napa, Petaluma, Brooklyn, Union City, Vallejo, Redwood City, Alviso, Monterrey, Santa Cruz, and others. Identifies Mt. Bache, Black Mountain, Montana Mountain, Mount Diablo, and Table Mountain. While this map offers only minimal inland detail, the maritime detail is extraordinary. Offers thousands of depth sounding throughout and identifies various important bays, sounds, islands, shoals other undersea dangers, lighthouses, beacons, rivers, etc. Notes on lighthouses, tides, soundings, and magnetic variation appear in the upper right quadrant.

The triangulation for this chart was completed by R. D. Cutts, G. A. Fairfield, G. Davidson, A.F. Rodgers, and W. E. Greenwell. The topography was exceuted by R. D. Cutts, A. F. Rodners, A.M. Harrison, J. S. Lawson and W. M. Johnson. The hydrography is the work of Commander James Alden, Commander R. M, Cuyler, Commander B. F. Sands, A. F. Rodgers, E. Cordell, and others. This chart was prepared under the supervision of A. D. Bache, one of the most influential Superintendents in the history of the Coast Survey. Issued in the 1867 supplement to the 1865 Superintendent's Report.


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. More by this mapmaker...


Report of the Superintendant of the United States Coast Survey, Washington, (1867 Supplement to the 1865 edition).    


Very good condition. Minor toning. Verso repair and reinforcement along original fold lines. Blank on verso.


NOAA Catalog, 1661.