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1857 U.S. Coast Survey Nautical Chart or Map of Woods Hole, Massachusetts

The Harbor of Wood's Hole Massachusetts. - Main View

1857 U.S. Coast Survey Nautical Chart or Map of Woods Hole, Massachusetts


Rare, separately issued map of Woods Hole, Cape Cod - near Martha's Vineyard!


The Harbor of Wood's Hole Massachusetts.
  1857 (dated)     13.25 x 17.75 in (33.655 x 45.085 cm)     1 : 20000


This is a rare separately issued 1857 U.S. Coast Survey nautical chart or map of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, near Martha's Vineyard. The map depicts the southwestern tip of Barnstable County, Nonameseset Island, and parts of nearby Naushon Island. Exceptional detail is displayed, down to the level of individual buildings and streets. The Woods Hole blacksmith shop, a 'yellow house,' and the 'new church' are among the sites identified. Woods Hole itself, the passage for ships between Vineyard Sound and Buzzards Bay known for its extremely strong current, is illustrated with numerous depth soundings. Sailing instructions and other practical information for the mariner appear in the lower right.
Publication History and Census
This map was drawn by William T. Bright, engraved by A. Petersen and Ernst A. Maedel, and published under the supervision of A. D. Bache in 1857. This is the rare separate issued edition, printed on heavy stock. Another more common variant edition was published with the 1857 edition of A. D. Bache's Report of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey.


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...

Alexander Dallas Bache (July 19, 1806 - February 17, 1867) was an American physicist, scientist and surveyor. Bache is best known in cartographic circles as the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey from 1843 to 1865. Born in Philadelphia, Bache, a great grandson of the statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin, had a varied career primarily focused on education. He toured Europe on behalf of Girard College and composed an important treatise on European Education. Later he served as president of Philadelphia's Central High School and was a professor of natural history and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. On the death of Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler, Bache was appointed Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey. Picking up where Hassler left off Bache presided over the Survey during its most prolific period and oversaw the mapping of most of the United States coastline. To this day his name appears on countless marine pilot books and U.S. Coast Survey nautical charts. For his work he was elected Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. Following the Civil War, Bache was elected a 3rd Class Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. He died at Newport, Rhode Island and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC, where he is commemorated with a monument built by American architect Henry Hobson Richardson. Learn More...

William Thomas Bright (July 22, 1839 - August 13, 1932) was an American draftsman and civil servant. Born in Washington, D.C., Bright lived in Washington all his life. He worked for the U.S. Coast Survey and then the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey as a draftsman from at least 1857 until he retired in 1907. He died suddenly at home on August 13, 1932. Bright married Sarah E. Holroyd in 1865, with whom he had four children, two sons and two daughters. Learn More...

Ernst A. Maedel (1831 - 18xx) was a German American engraver. Born in Saxon, Weimar, Germany, Maedel worked for the U.S. Coast Survey and then the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey as an engraver from 1857 until he resigned on October 1, 1885, 'in preference to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States'. Per a Report of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, Maedel 'was not excelled in his speciality of letter engraving by any of his associates, and it may be truly said that he has left a stamp of his genius on the charts of the Survey which those who follow may well endeavor to emulate.' Learn More...

A. Petersen (fl. c. 1857 - c. 1875) was an engraver for the U.S. Coast Survey and then the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Learn More...


Very good.


OCLC 132691170.