Anderson's 1896 Street and Guide Map of the City of Seattle Washington.
1896 (dated) 52.5 x 35 in (133.35 x 88.9 cm)
1 : 14400
Published just 45 years after the Seattle's founding, at the height of the Yukon Gold Rush, this is one of the earliest separately issued maps of the city to be published in that city. This is a rare and impressive large format 1896 city plan or map of Seattle, Washington, by O. P. Anderson (Oliver Phelps). Probably Anderson's most ambitious cartographic endeavor, this map covers from, roughly, Green Lake to the Duwamish Waterway (Duwamish River) and from the Puget Sound to Lake Washington. The scale is impressive with important buildings, streets, new developments, parks, and bridges noted. The University of Washington is noted. The map has been overprinted in red to indicate block numbers, development plans, railroads, city wards, and land fills.
Cartographically this map follows several earlier plans of Seattle also issued by Anderson. Anderson's first map appeared in 1889 Map of the City of Seattle, also issued in 1890. He then issued the more common Anderson's New Guide Map of the City of Seattle. Both of these maps were published in smaller formats and covered a roughly twice the area, making the present map Anderson's most ambitiously detailed production. The present map was printed by Christopher Towsley. Considering that the city of Seattle was founded just 45 year earlier, the level of development is remarkable – a clear indication of Seattle's population boom in reaction to the Klondike Gold Rush.
While all early maps of Seattle are rare, this map is of note. The Streeter Sale included 7 of Anderson's maps (3295, 3319, 3401, 3544, 3545, 3581 and 3952), but this map was not part of the offering. The OCLC notes only four institutional examples located at the University of Washington, Yale, the Huntington Library, and the University of California Davis. We are aware of one other example in private hands.
The Admiralty or United Kingdom Hydrographic Office refers to the Branch of the English government that is responsible for the command of the British Navy. In 1795 King George III created the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, known in short as the U.K.H.O., to provide top notch nautical charts to the vast Royal Navy. Prior the founding of the Admiralty the surveying and creation of nautical charts was primarily a commercial venture wherein the cartographer himself, more of than not, actually financed the printing of his own material. The great navigator Cook himself is known to have scrambled for funds to publish his own seminal charts - the most important and advanced of the period. The system of privately funded nautical mapping and publishing left vast portions of the world uncharted and many excellent charts unpublished. King George III, responding significant loss in trade revenue related to shipwrecks and delay due to poor charts, recognized the need for an institutionalized government sponsored cartographic agency - the Admiralty. The first head of the Admiralty, a position known as Hydrographer, was the important cartographer Alexander Dalrymple. Dalrymple started by organizing and cataloging obtainable charts before initiating the laborious process of updating them and filling in the blanks. The first official Admiralty Chart appeared in 1800 and detailed Quiberon Bay in Brittany. By 1808 the position of Hydrographer fell to Captain Thomas Hurd. Hurd advocated the sale of Admiralty charts to the general public and, by the time he retired in 1829, had issued and published some 736 charts. Stewardship of the organization then passed to Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort. It was under Beaufort's administration that the Admiralty truly developed as a "chart making" as opposed to a "chart cataloging" institution. Beaufort held his post from 1829 to 1854. In his 25 years at the Admiralty Beaufort created nearly 1500 new charts and sponsored countless surveying and scientific expeditions - including the 1831 to 1836 voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle. By 1855 the Admiralty's chart catalog listed some 1,981 charts.
Christopher W. Towsley (fl. c. 1880 – c. 1914) was a Seattle based printer and businessman active in the latter part of the 19th century. Towsley produced maps for government and civil engineering use and partnered with Oliver Phelps Anderson to issue commercial maps of Seattle and King County. He is also registered as a principal of the Pioneer Rent & Collection Company, a real estate concern.
Very good. Backed on archival tissue. Some wear and toning along original fold lines. Slight loss at some fold intersections. Separated from by accompanied by original gilt stamped linen binder.
Huntington Library 299521. Yale University, Beinecke Library, Zc78 896op. OCLC 21288324, 82775984.