A Good - Natured Map of the United States Setting Forth the Services of The Greyhound Lines and a Few Principal Connecting Bus Lines.
11.25 x 18.5 in (28.575 x 46.99 cm)
This is a charming 1939 pictorial map of the United States, produced as a pamphlet by the Greyhound Bus Company to promote their line as a comfortable and affordable means of travel - with a special focus on the upcoming New York World's Fair.
What 'Good Natured' Means in the 1930sLike many of the most desirable pictorial maps, this one is filled with little cartoon vignettes humorously referencing to the regions depicted: Death Valley features a skeleton fanning itself and declaring 'Boy! Sure is hot!' A camel is shown near Alamagordo, New Mexico, saying 'Just like home!' In Reno, Nevada, we see a man, a woman, and a judge; the woman jauntily calling, 'So long, old dear, I'll be suing you.' (Reno, with a lenient residency requirement and accommodating courts, was famous as the divorce capital in the thirties and forties.) These jests are harmless enough, though the depictions of Native Americans, African Americans, and Mexicans on the map frequently cross the line from 'Good Natured Humor' to 'Commentary on 20th Century American Racial Attitudes' and even approaching 'Wow! That's Racist.'
An Updated EditionThe map's imagery is largely unchanged from the earlier editions, but it adds a stylized depiction of the architectural symbols of the 1939 World's Fair, the Trylon and the Perisphere, replacing a depiction of the Statue of Liberty.
KD? KO? Kappa Delta?The author of this map is not known, in spite of it having been signed. In a banner in the lower right are the stylized initials KD (or KO, or the Greek letters Kappa Delta) but we have found no note in the admittedly sparse literature to indicate what these initials might stand for. OCLC shows a similar lack of success on the part of library cataloguers, who list 'Greyhound' and the 'Reserve Lithographing and Printing Company,' and call it a day.
Publication History and CensusThis 1939 small-format version of the map was printed by Cleveland's Reserve Lithographing and Printing Company, one of that city's many mid-century printing establishments. OCLC shows no other product from Reserve, apart from editions of this map and its larger progenitor. OCLC lists two examples only of the 1934 first issue of the full-size map, and eight of the 1937 reissue. This 1939 edition, issued as a folding pamphlet, appears to have survived poorly: only two appear in OCLC, at the Biblio et Archives National de Quebec and the University of South Carolina.
Very good condition. Original folds as issued. Else excellent with no mends or stains.