A highly unusual and rare c. 1900 George F. Cram map of Utah illustrating railroad lines. Covering the entire state of Utah, the map is overprinted in red and updated in manuscript, presumably by the publisher, to illustrate 11 railway lines operating throughout the state. Banking towns are circled throughout. It also illustrates mineral deposits, mines, early stage survey work, and topography. Although the map is undated, we can use some of the railroad lines to approximately date it to about 1900, when the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, was extended south of Milford to at least the Utah border.
This map is part of a County Map and Shipper's Guide map series issued by Cram from the late 19th century to about 1920. While maps from this series do come to market from time to time, the present map of Utah is extremely rare. We have been unable to positively identify any comparable examples in the OCLC.
George Franklin Cram (May 20, 1842 - 1928) was an American map publisher active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During the American Civil War, Cram served as a staff cartographer for the Union General Ulysses S. Grant and participated in Sherman's 'March to the Sea'. In 1867, after being discharged from the army George Cram moved to Chicago, where he founded 'Blanchard and Cram' with his uncle Rufus Blanchard Evanston. Blanchard and Cram was a supply house for the book trade - though he also published a few maps during this period. This short lived business was destroyed in the 1871 by Great Chicago Fire. After the fine, recognizing a business opportunity in the burgeoning railroad industry, Cram reinvented himself as cartographic publisher, opening the Cram Map Depot. Like fellow Chicago publisher Rand McNally, Cram took advantage of economical wax engraving processes to inexpensively produce maps in vast quantities. His signature publication, the Unrivaled Atlas of the World became the world's best -selling atlas and was published from the 1880s to 1952. On retiring in 1821 Cram sold his company to E. A. Peterson of the National Map Company (Scarborough Company). Peterson moved the company to Indianapolis where, following Cram's death, he rebranded the National Map Company as the George F. Cram Company, surely thinking to capitalize on the established identity of the firm. In 1930 he entered the globe market for which the firm was best known from the mid-20th century. In time the firm expanded globally passing becoming a major concern. By 2012, however, they were out of business. More by this mapmaker...
Good. Old ink stains - see image. A few minor verso reinforcements. Wear and repairs on original fold lines, especially at fold intersections. Light foxing.