The Back Room

The Back Room presents both Americana and international materials. This inventory is a selection of rare, scarce  and one of a kind materials published in the 18th, 19th and occasionally the 20th century.  The Back Room also includes 19th century American wall maps, an area of special interest.  The Back Room inventory will be updated frequently.

Displaying 21 - 40 of 41

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            This rare wall map of Newburyport, Massachusetts is a survey and illustrated view of Newburyport in 1851. The plan of Newburyport is surrounded by vignettes of important homes such as the Old Balch Mansion, Mt. Royal, Residence of Mrs. S.W. Hale and the W.B. Bannister.  Important public buildings and businesses are featured in vignettes including the Town Hall, the J. Currier Jr. Ship Yard that shows workers in a flotilla of small boats at work building a large ship. Carriages bringing guests are pulled up in front of the Merrimack House.

            This rare 1853 wall map of Lexington, Massachusetts, was published in Philadelphia only seventy-seven years after the outbreak of the American Revolution.

            Thomas Fisk's Map of the Town of Dublin N.H., 1853 is one of the earliest if not the first survey map of Dublin, New Hampshire and it is extremely rare. The map's key explains the symbols used by Fisk to describe the lots, landowners, structures and occupants. They are unusual to this map. Dublin is a rural town with one of New Hampshire's iconic mountains, Mount Monadnock and this early map by Fisk provides a mid-19th century portrait of the town.

      This is the scarce 1854 second edition, as noted on the map itself, of  Jacob Dodge's comprehensive  Township and Railroad Map of New Hampshire published locally in Nashua, New Hampshire. The first edition was also published in 1854.  There are several subsequent editions of Dodge's map, including an 1856 edition, plus a "second" 1856 edition leading to some confusion as to the actual chronology of the editions.  Railroad maps were often revised as railroad lines expanded and merged.

This rare Colton pocket map New Hampshire, copyright 1854  presents a compact and detailed description of New Hampshire at the beginning of railroad expansion, industrialization and the growth of population in New Hampshire's major cities and regions to the north due to railroad access. To make the point, Colton's map presents county population statistics for 1840 and 1850 to quantify the influx of new inhabitants and the considerable growth of households in New Hampshire.

This scarce 1854 wall map of Lenox, Massachusetts surveyed and drawn by E.M. Woodford, with his characteristic architectural vignettes, fine lettering and detailed local mapping, presents a three dimensional view of this prospering Berkshire County shire town at mid-19th century. The Map of the Town of Lenox is illustrated with seven vignettes of local architectural scenes that enhance our understanding of how Lenox residents lived and worked.

            A beautiful example of this scarce Massachusetts town map of 1855 prepared by Henry F. Walling as Superintendent of the State Map. A table at the bottom of the map provides essential history and statistics of Fairhaven. There is a large map inset of Fairhaven and Oxford Villages. The different areas of town are indicated with Roman Numerals. The large scale survey permits detailed description of the coastal terrain, of buildings and their owners and of roads and ways.

This rare wall map of Deerfield, Massachusetts is a detailed 1855 survey of the town and its villages, an architectural portrait of the fine homes, churches and other establishments in town and a Connecticut River Valley vista that captures the dominant profile of the Connecticut River, its tributary the Deerfield River and the surrounding Pocumtuck hills and mountains. The map and inset maps are drawn at two different scales, both of which permit labeling on the respective map each house or building by name.

This detailed and decorative wall map of Dartmouth, Massachusetts presents a prosperous and well settled coastal Massachusetts town in 1856. The Map of the Town of Dartmouth shows its 27 numbered School Districts and is illustrated with six pictorial vignettes, including the J. Cummings Stone Mill, the 1st Congregational Church, B.T. Cummings' Store and Wm. Cummings' House, the Matthews, Meshow & Co.'s Ship Yard, the Apponagansett Bridge and the School House in District No. 10.

This is the first edition of Chace's survey of Rockingham County drawn from actual surveys at a large scale to permit labeling individual homes, stores, factories and other locations of note. Surrounding the perimeter of the map and joined by decorative bands are 13 pictorial vignettes and two tables. There is a large inset map of Portsmouth City (18 ½" x 12") that includes the Kittery Navy Yard and a large inset map of Exeter Village (15 ½" x 10 ¼") as well as smaller inset maps of each town center in Rockingham County.

This is the first edition of Chace's Map of Rockingham Co. New Hampshire From Actual Surveys  drawn at a large scale to permit labeling individual homes, stores, factories and other locations of note. Surrounding the perimeter of the map and joined by decorative bands are 13 pictorial vignettes and two tables. There is a large inset map of Portsmouth City (18 ½" x 12") that includes the Kittery Navy Yard and a large inset map of Exeter Village (15 ½" x 10 ¼") as well as smaller inset maps of each town center in Rockingham County.

        This is a rare pocket map of Kentucky four years before the Civil War. The map is a bright color lithograph, with three inset maps: one in black and white of Falls of Ohio River with major cities on either side of the Ohio River  including Louisville, Jeffersonville, the Shipping port Canal, Portland and New Albany; a black and white inset map of Washington, Williamsburg and Clarksburg; and a large color inset map of Lexington in Fayette County with the surrounding counties. A chart on the map lists Steam Boat Routes.

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) was born a slave in Maryland, escaped to New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1836 and began his career as an abolitionist in 1841 with a speech delivered at an abolitionist convention in Nantucket, Massachusetts.  Douglass' first abolitionist newspaper was The North Star commencing December, 1847 in Rochester, New York.  Between 1851 and 1858 Douglass had editorial control over a larger merged paper. In  1858 Douglass began Douglass' Monthly, a paper concerned exclusively with abolition of slavery in America.

      This 1861 Colton pocket map of the State of Virginia is a rare pocket map that shows the State of Virginia in its entirety before the western portion was removed in 1863 for the creation of the state of West Virginia. There are two black and white inset maps: one of Richmond, Henrico Co., Manchester and Springhill, Chesterfield Co. and the other of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Gosport. The Explanations Key on the map shows the symbols for railroads, Common roads, canals, the State Capitol at Richmond, counties, towns, village post offices and depots.

This image rich wall map is an example of pictorial, political and decorative mapmaking. Consisting of two, large joined panels, this wall map functions at several levels. The first is as a detailed, colored map of the continental United States. The second is as a historic and patriotic engraving in the bottom panel  that shows the July 4, 1776 Signing of the Declaration of Independence, alluding to John Trumbull's monumental painting hung in the U.S.

    This Admiralty Survey chart describing  in great detail the coast of China and all of the coast of Formosa is a rare 19th century, engraved, two toned nautical chart representing new surveys that build on the original survey work done by Captains Collinson and Kellett, and Sir Edward Belcher R.N. between 1840-1850 that for their time provided western navies with some of the earliest nautical surveys of the east Coast of China. In Collinson and Kellett's 1845 survey, also engraved by Isaac Purdy and published by H.

    This scarce British Admiralty Chart America's West Coast was prepared from original surveys done in 1855, updated to Sept. 1865 and is finely engraved in black and white, with artful grey tones by E. Radclyffe whose vignettes include numerous views of the coast of California from the southernmost point of Diego Bay northward beyond San Francisco to Cape Mendocino. The varied and dramatic geology and geography of California is presented as it appeared six years after the beginning of the Gold Rush.

Alexander Hesler (1823 – 1895), the American photographer based in Chicago, Illinois took this photograph of Abraham Lincoln when he was a candidate for President of the United States.   Hesler had Lincoln sit for this portrait in Hesler's Chicago studio in 1860.

            Warner's Safe Cure Prize Map of the United States and Canada is at once a feat of detailed 19th century cartography that in Rand McNally's own words shows a "clearness of outline and beauty of execution" and notably one of the first 19th century maps to show an image of The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World.

      This colorful bird's eye view of the New England coast from Boston Harbor to Portland, Maine shows the various kinds of train and steamship line connections for summer tourists wishing to reach their vacation  destinations in Maine. The map key explains that the transit routes are for the Atlantic Shore Line Railway, a Maine electric street car of sorts, the steam railway line of the B&M R.R. and the Southern Maine Steamship Line with connections to the Atlantic Shore Line Railway.

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