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Map of the USA
December 14, 2004 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Map of the USA
I found this beautiful map in my parent's house and thought I might share it.It was issued by the Secretary of State and handed out to Germans I believe in the late fifties or early sixties.
posted by ronsens (79 comments total)

 
Very neat! I'm next to the giant armchair.
posted by odinsdream at 11:05 AM on December 14, 2004


Hey! I can see my house from here!!
posted by devbrain at 11:06 AM on December 14, 2004


Appears to be pre-1959 since Alaska and Hawaii aren't shown. What a neat map, though!
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:06 AM on December 14, 2004


I dig this kinds of map, I'm next to a big old fish in the Monterey Bay!
posted by fenriq at 11:08 AM on December 14, 2004


A self link! Kidding. This is very cool. Wish I cold see it larger.
posted by xammerboy at 11:09 AM on December 14, 2004


Am I the only one who can't get the link to work? I wanna see!
posted by bondcliff at 11:13 AM on December 14, 2004


it gives me a headache to think of how long someone spent drawing all of that.
posted by modernsquid at 11:21 AM on December 14, 2004


I love this map.
But... a 7mb jpg??
posted by Wolfdog at 11:24 AM on December 14, 2004



Very neat! I'm next to the giant armchair.


me too!
posted by quonsar at 11:25 AM on December 14, 2004


But... a 7mb jpg??

at 2500x1784, image sizes get um... large ;)
posted by howling fantods at 11:27 AM on December 14, 2004


Oooo, when I was a kid we had a jigsaw puzzle that was just the Ohio portion of (I think) this very map. Neat-o.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2004


The population number they give (155 million) is the one for 1951, as another data point.

It's cute how little notice Las Vegas gets on this map.
posted by smackfu at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2004


Very cool. And, from now on, I won't be taking I75 or I40. Instead, it's the Eisenbahn!
posted by kimota at 11:30 AM on December 14, 2004


The only illustration Maryland gets is... some guy. I feel cheated. He looks military, though, so maybe he represents the Naval Academy?
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:31 AM on December 14, 2004


There's also a coal miner in Western Maryland.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:34 AM on December 14, 2004


Can anyone mirror this somewhere? I can't seem to load it.
posted by borkingchikapa at 11:35 AM on December 14, 2004


That's absolutely amazing. Beautiful. Thank you.

Eisenbahn--as in, Eisenhower's Freeway System? That's a good data point, too (though not nearly as referential as the population)
posted by fandango_matt at 11:35 AM on December 14, 2004


Eisenbahn = railway
posted by loquax at 11:38 AM on December 14, 2004


borkingchikapa, it's now mirrored on Coral: http://www.iustus.de.nyud.net:8090/map/
posted by scruss at 11:40 AM on December 14, 2004


roland, du bist ein schatz
posted by heimchen at 11:43 AM on December 14, 2004


I love stuff like this. I have a soviet military map of northern New England, and it gives me a kick to look at my home city labeled as.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:46 AM on December 14, 2004


greetings from Univers Von Texas!

The three minimaps across the bottom, are those rail/communications/highways? or is the second one typical flight patterns?
posted by whatnot at 11:46 AM on December 14, 2004


yes, the second is flight pattern.
posted by heimchen at 11:49 AM on December 14, 2004


Me: ...this very map.

Actually, I think it was a different one now that I look closer. But a similar idea...
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:49 AM on December 14, 2004


waaaahhh! teh link is borken

anyone got a mirror?
posted by kamylyon at 11:52 AM on December 14, 2004


They spelled Pittsburgh wrong! No 'h'.
posted by octothorpe at 11:52 AM on December 14, 2004


That is simply great, thank you. I actually collect maps done in that style. I don't know what you call it, "Maps With Zillions of Little Pictures in Each State." I've got a wonderful similar one done by Humble from 1962, its hanging on my wall and never fails as a conversation piece.
posted by marxchivist at 11:54 AM on December 14, 2004


Oh man, I want one of these! Great find. :)
posted by dejah420 at 11:56 AM on December 14, 2004


Mayor Curley, would you mind looking up Norwich, Vermont on your map? That's my old hometown, I'm curious what them Soviets made of it.
posted by fenriq at 12:00 PM on December 14, 2004


The page cannot be displayed
posted by dhoyt at 12:05 PM on December 14, 2004


Mayor Curley- maybe you'd just scan it and post it?
posted by fake at 12:07 PM on December 14, 2004


So the State Dept. handed out these maps to give Germans some idea of what the US looked like? I'm interested in their intentions, and the history behind this map give-away.

I like that Walt Whitman's birthplace is identified on Long Island.
posted by thirdparty at 12:10 PM on December 14, 2004


"KANADA"???
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:13 PM on December 14, 2004


I want to see some landmarks for Kanada!!
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:16 PM on December 14, 2004


Card Cheat, you beat me to it!
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:16 PM on December 14, 2004


Anyone have a 5-foot wide color printer I can borrow for this?
posted by QuietDesperation at 12:16 PM on December 14, 2004


Fabulous! No red states and no blue states!

Oh, wait... That was then...
posted by 327.ca at 12:16 PM on December 14, 2004


Keen! I LOVE this! It was my dream as a child to illustrate maps like this.
posted by St.Pudalia at 12:22 PM on December 14, 2004


Diesen Vereinigten Staaten (von Amerika), sie vibrieren?
posted by pmbuko at 12:29 PM on December 14, 2004


Is that a picture of a ladies' shoe on the border between MA and NH? And again in upstate NY?
posted by uncleozzy at 12:32 PM on December 14, 2004


That designates either shoe manufacturers or cross dressers.

Somebody needs to do a map like this for the USA as we are today.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:37 PM on December 14, 2004


Damn.

Lotta Wolfram in the US of A.

Who knew?
posted by mudpuppie at 12:44 PM on December 14, 2004


It looks like the Statue of Liberty is trying to make a break for Germany over there. She is 100+ miles off shore and steaming for Hamburg, I tell you!
posted by Rawhide at 12:45 PM on December 14, 2004


Orlando, FL gets nada. Them were't days...

Well, if you like maps with lots of stuff all over 'em you want to check out the ones at White Mountain Puzzles.

I picked up their Key West one (half price at the Hemmingway House!) last week.
posted by i_cola at 12:49 PM on December 14, 2004


I have a similar map that I picked up a garage sale from about the same era. it's a map of the US for sports fishermen that shows various fish jumping all over the country.
posted by donp17 at 12:51 PM on December 14, 2004


I would love to scan the map, but I should have done that before I had it framed.

And Norwich, Vermont didn't make it onto the map. It goes from P-Town to midcoast Maine and as far west as Lake Winnepesaukee, which is unlabeled. I think the russian cartographer just looked at the name and shrugged.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:51 PM on December 14, 2004


Maybe someone could d/l the whole thing, then slice it up into the 50 states, with a small imagemapped whole-US as a menu...
posted by Tubes at 12:54 PM on December 14, 2004


I'm right on the flour mills, right below the Ricer and not far above the Mayo Klenik.
posted by Juicylicious at 1:00 PM on December 14, 2004


Spiffilicious. I, too, love the "maps with little pictograms depicting things of interest" and wish there were a word for that category of thing.

What do you mean "shoe manufacturers OR cross-dressers", stupidsexyFlanders? New England has a proud tradition of both.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:03 PM on December 14, 2004


Wow.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 1:06 PM on December 14, 2004


I had no idea that my part of the country was known for hickory nuts.
posted by jefbla at 1:09 PM on December 14, 2004


I picked up their Key West one (half price at the Hemmingway House!) last week.

Hey, I walked past the Hemingway House last week. And that's a nice link to those cool puzzles. I love the Mackinac Island one. In fact, I desire it.
posted by NoMich at 1:12 PM on December 14, 2004


Mayor Curley, I should have figured as much, its a blink of a town now, I can't imagine how wee it must have been back then. Thanks for checking.

So, does anyone know what the purpose of the map was? Or did I miss it?
posted by fenriq at 1:14 PM on December 14, 2004


For those having trouble getting the big image, try saving it, instead of just clicking on it.

Very neat.
posted by litghost at 1:16 PM on December 14, 2004


I remember this map!
::delves into the deepest recesses of memory::

It was in the library of the teacher's college up the hill from the elementary school I went to in Johnson, VT.

:notes that the mirror was there before she asked for one and slinks into her corner:
posted by kamylyon at 1:19 PM on December 14, 2004


What would be the best way to print this out as a poster?
posted by kirkaracha at 1:27 PM on December 14, 2004


well, smackfu suggests that the map is from around 1951.
There was only a vague image of the United States in Germany then.

For many Germans Americans were huge, well-fed guys handing out chewing gums to German post-war kids. And some of these guys even were black. (I remember my grandmother telling me how amazed she was when she saw the first black G.I., the first black person she ever saw.) Now imagine what people must have thought of the United States then. Of course they knew about cowboys, the Liberty Statue and so on but that was about it.

I think the map was supposed to give a somewhat more detailed look an the United States, but then again not too sophisticated. The Secretary of State probably imagined that Germans would be overwhelmed otherwise. Maybe they really would have been. I assume that's why it's designed like a children's map.

Then again, in the early fifties Germans started to go on holiday again. So it might be a promotional map for the American tourist industry.

That's what I can think of.
posted by heimchen at 1:31 PM on December 14, 2004


Anyone have a 5-foot wide color printer I can borrow for this?

Kinkos can print things like this. I just had a huge picture printed(and laminated) as a backing for my fish tank. I'm sure they could do the same with this picture. Too bad it's not higher resolution or I'd do it myself.

Also, what's up with "Stiller Ozean"? I recognize a lot of the German(ized) words on there but I've never head "Stiller" for "Pacific" before.
posted by Democritus at 1:32 PM on December 14, 2004


Kinko's does indeed have the printers, but many of their stores are pretty draconian about what they will do because of copyright laws.

Stiller means "more peaceful" or "more calm" in German. Pacific comes from the root "pax" where we get "pacifism", or other words related to "peaceful."
posted by sourwookie at 1:48 PM on December 14, 2004


octothorpe:
They spelled Pittsburgh wrong! No 'h'.
Actually, there has been controversy over how to spell Pittsburg(h). In First Report of the United States Board on Geographic Names 1890-1891, the Feds recommended dropping the "h" in all "burgh" names and Pittsburgh has been at various times and by various people not spelled with an "h".
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 1:52 PM on December 14, 2004


Also, what's up with "Stiller Ozean"?

Democritus, that's "Silent Ocean," literally. It's called that in Dutch as well ("Stille Oceaan"). Pretty close in meaning. The English name derives from French.

OT: In other news, leading Dutch toy store Bart Smit has withdrawn a certain model of globe from the shops after it emerged that "Israel" was replaced with "Palestine" and Taiwan suddenly belonged to China. It was manufactured in China, so apparently one of the design people there decided to have some fun.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:04 PM on December 14, 2004


sourwookie beat me to it.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:05 PM on December 14, 2004


It's a German map. They are notoriously bad at spelling place names. They think "Germany" is spelled "Deutschland," for instance.
posted by kindall at 2:08 PM on December 14, 2004


They moved Stanford down the peninsula to Sunnyvale and put San Jose in the East Bay.

Apparently, the Golden Gate Bridge was in the way!
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:22 PM on December 14, 2004


And UPenn is in New Jersey, near Atlantic City.
posted by smackfu at 2:26 PM on December 14, 2004


i'm in the vicinity of the erlenmeyer flask. guess if they updated it they could just put a needle there instead.
posted by goddam at 2:30 PM on December 14, 2004


Reminded me of maps from the 1960 edition of the 16-volume Golden Book Encyclopedia. Sold at supermarkets.
Contains individual maps of all the states. Map of Wyoming.
posted by redneck_zionist at 2:36 PM on December 14, 2004


Have you closet cartographers seen the David Rumsey collection? For me, this is still the most impressive collection of maps on the internet machine.
posted by plebmaster at 3:05 PM on December 14, 2004


Reminded me of maps from the 1960 edition of the 16-volume Golden Book Encyclopedia. Sold at supermarkets.

Also available at library book sales for $1 a set. I got me one, childhood memories, a general interest in older children's reference books (and the maps of course) justified that purchase. Now if I just had somewhere to put them, along with my what may be complete collection of American Heritage Junior Library books and my growing collection of Landmark Books.
posted by marxchivist at 3:15 PM on December 14, 2004


Yes, 155 million corresponds to 1951-52. Besides, the cars and airplanes depicted are consistent with that time. And a pre-1965 Canadian flag is shown.
posted by Skeptic at 3:28 PM on December 14, 2004


I love Raven maps - primarily topographical/relief, available for each state, gorgeous.
posted by WestCoaster at 3:50 PM on December 14, 2004


Tough to tell, but it looks like Canada has the old Red Ensign! Woohoo! It could be the Ontario flag, but tough to tell, again.
posted by shepd at 5:10 PM on December 14, 2004


Apparently Germany and Mississippi did not get the news about the Emancipation Proclamation. Is that a German U-Boat off the tip of Long Island?
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:52 PM on December 14, 2004


Did anyone else notice that many cities are defined by the products they were known for?

I live in Springfield MA. We had the US Armory, hence the Springfield Rifle pictured.

Hartford CT is pictured with an aircraft, most likely for Pratt & Whitney. Albany is pictured with a light bulb, to represent General Electric.

Steel mills in Pittsburgh, textiles in the Carolinas, Cars in Michigan, and even a large chair in Grand Rapids (the furniture city).

Does anyone else find it sad that such a map would be largely barren today?
posted by RalphSlate at 9:21 PM on December 14, 2004


>Eisenbahn = railway

Damn. Real life continues to disappoint.
posted by kimota at 9:35 AM on December 15, 2004


wow that's fabtastic, i love it ! neat find.

"KANADA"???

hmm. well since canada is really spelled kanata, maybe their spelling is related to that somehow - not that it's any less incorrect that way - or to german spelling, do they have a preference for k over c...?
posted by t r a c y at 10:02 AM on December 15, 2004


there are only a few German words starting with a 'c'.
posted by heimchen at 11:59 AM on December 15, 2004


great username, heimchen!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:42 PM on December 15, 2004


Is that a German U-Boat off the tip of Long Island?

don't know if one was found off of long island but u869 was found off the coast of jersey.
posted by goddam at 9:37 PM on December 15, 2004


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