A fascinating 1872 thematic map of the world by Robert Hewitt detailing the global production and traffic in coffee - considered the first American map related to coffee - accompanied by a first edition of Hewitt's important book on the subject. Presented on Mercator's projection, the map dually identifies coffee production and consumption, and telegraph lines. A series of color codes referenced in the lower right break down the region according to the ability to grow and use coffee, and its rate of consumption, with places like Rio de Janeiro, Colombo (Sri Lanka), and Sumatra as centers of both production and consumption; places of increasing consumption, like Melbourne (Australia), the United States; places of limited consumption (mostly Scandinavian countries); and everything in between.
In the lower right corner, Hewitt summarizes his map in the context of the coffee trade,
The constantly increasing consumption of Coffee as shown by the Statistical Tables prepared expressly for this Work, proves that the beverage is fast becoming one of the universal necessities of civilized life. This increasing demand will naturally extend the present area of its cultivation largely into those belts of land favorable to its production lying principally between the isothermal lines of 25° North and 30° South of the Equator. The use of the beverage does not at present extend much beyond the parallels of 58° North and 35° South.
The 'land favorable' to coffee growth is the shaded tropic zone at center, loosely bounded by the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Telegraph and Steamer Lines
The map also includes the extent U.S. Mail packet steamer route from Rio de Janeiro to New York, as well as existing and proposed telegraph lines, underscoring the importance of communication and transportation to global growth of coffee consumption. Hewitt attributes the submarine telegraph cables to increased interest in remote coffee regions,
Of late years there has been a growing desire to know more about the coffee-producing districts in Java and Sumatra. The opening of the Pacific Railroad and the successful operation of the Submarine cables have done much to bring about more frequent communication with these important countries. American merchants have not been slow in availing themselves of the advantages in becoming better acquainted with those who have established important house in the East Indies … for much valuable information concerning the cultivation of coffee.
The Rio-New York mail packet route is of particular note, as it is associated with coffee plantations in Brazil. These Hewitt discusses at length in his work, detailing the volume and procedure of shipping bulk coffee from ports of Rio de Janeiro and Santos to New York.
Publication History and Census
Hewitt prepared this map in 1872 to illustrate his most famous work, Coffee: Its History, Cultivation, and Uses
. The map itself is derived from the J. H. Colton world map of 1857, but no credit is given. The shading and coffee related content, as well as the proposed and extant telegraph data, is unique to this map. The individual map is scarce on the market and has no reference in the OCLC, but Hewitt's book does appear in several collections.
Robert Hewitt (May 31, 1841 - October 6, 1913) was a New York based American businessman active in the late 19th century. Hewitt worked in the coffee, sugar, and refrigeration industries, becoming president of the Manhattan Refrigerating Company. He is best remembered as coffee-broker and enthusiast, having written the first American book on this history of coffee, Coffee: Its History, Cultivation, and Uses. Hewitt retired from professional life in 1903 to peruse his interest in substantial collection of Lincolniana.
Joseph Hutchins Colton (July 5, 1800 - July 29, 1893), often publishing as J. H. Colton, was an important American map and atlas publisher active from 1833 to 1897. Colton's firm arose from humble beginnings when he moved to New York in 1831 and befriended the established engraver Samuel Stiles. He worked under Stiles as the 'Co.' in Stiles and Co. from 1833 to 1836. Colton quickly recognized an emerging market in railroad maps and immigrant guides. Not a cartographer or engraver himself, Colton's initial business practice mostly involved purchasing the copyrights of other cartographers, most notably David H. Burr, and reissuing them with updated engraving and border work. His first maps, produced in 1833, were based on earlier Burr maps and depicted New York State and New York City. Between 1833 and 1855 Colton would proceed to publish a large corpus of guidebooks and railroad maps which proved popular. In the early 1850s Colton brought his two sons, George Woolworth Colton (1827 - 1901) and Charles B. Colton (1832 - 1916), into the map business. G. W. Colton, trained as a cartographer and engraver, was particularly inspired by the idea of creating a large and detailed world atlas to compete established European firms for the U.S. market. In 1855, G.W. Colton issued volume one the impressive two volume Colton's Atlas of the World. Volume two followed a year later. Possibly because of the expense of purchasing a two-volume atlas set, the sales of the Atlas of the World did not meet Colton's expectations and so, in 1856, the firm also issued the atlas as a single volume. The maps contained in this superb work were all original engravings and most bear an 1855 copyright. All of the maps were surrounded by an attractive spiral motif border that would become a hallmark of Colton's atlas maps well into the 1880s. In 1857, the slightly smaller Colton's General Atlas replaced the Atlas of the World, which lacked the border. Most early editions of the General Atlas published from 1857 to 1859 do not have the trademark Colton spiral border, which was removed to allow the maps to fit into a smaller format volume. Their customers must have missed the border because it was reinstated in 1860 and remained in all subsequent publications of the atlas. There were also darker times ahead, in 1858 Colton was commissioned at sum of 25,000 USD by the government of Bolivia to produce and deliver 10,000 copies a large format map of that country. Although Colton completed the contract in good faith, delivering the maps at his own expense, he was never paid by Bolivia, which was at the time in the midst of a series national revolutions. Colton would spend the remainder of his days fighting with the Bolivian and Peruvian governments over this payment and in the end, after a congressional intervention, received as much as 100,000 USD in compensation. Nonetheless, at the time it must have been a disastrous blow. J. H. Colton and Company is listed as one of New York's failed companies in the postal record of 1859. It must have been this that led Colton into the arms of Alvin Jewett Johnson and Ross C. Browning. The 1859 edition of Colton's General Atlas lists Johnson and Browning as the 'Successor's to J. H. Colton' suggesting an outright buyout, but given that both companies continued to publish separately, the reality is likely more complex. Whatever the case may have been, this arrangement gave Johnson and Browning access to many of Colton's map plates and gave birth to Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas. The Johnson's Atlas was published parallel to Colton's atlas well in to the 1880s. The Colton firm itself subsequently published several other atlases including an Atlas of America, the Illustrated Cabinet Atlas, the Octavo Atlas of the Union, and Colton's Quarto Atlas of the World. They also published a large corpus of wall maps, pocket maps, and guides. The last known publications of the Colton firm date to 1897 and include a map and a view, both issued in association with the Merchant's Association of New York. In 1898, the Colton firm merged with the Ohman Firm and continued to publish as Colton, Ohman & Co. until 1901.
Hewitt, R., Coffee: Its History, Cultivation, and Uses, (New York: D. Appleton and Company) 1872.
Good. Laid down on archival tissue. Both left and right margins extended. Wear on old fold lines. Accompanies Hewitt's book. Book in good condition. Binding slightly loose.