Bird's Eye View from Summit of Mt. Washington: White Mountains, New Hampshire (nd c.1902)

Bird's Eye View from Summit of Mt. Washington: White Mountains, New Hampshire Issued by Passenger Department of Boston and Maine R.R. (nd c.1902)
Boston, Massachusetts, 1902
color lithograph
Professionally conserved
professionally flattened and backed on thin Japanese mulberry tissue, some wear at original fold lines, good color palette and evenly toned, unblemished paper
26.5 × 27.5 inches
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This large scale, early 20th c. pictorial view of Mount Washington, New Hampshire, is in fact a map composed in the round, framed by a circle of clouds and surrounding mountain peaks. This perspective of Mount Washington places the viewer as if aloft and at the high limits of the earth's atmosphere looking down through the clouds at the peak of Mt. Washington on a summer day. The style of Geo.Walker & Co.'s iconic and complex color lithograph is in the pictorial tradition of early 19th century German mountain bird's eye views and maps.  See for example Panorama des Inselsberges., Verlage des Geographischen Instituts zu Weimar, 1823.  This lithograph of Mount Washington and the surrounding Presidential Mountain range, as well as other mountain peaks, was prepared for the tourist traveling by train. This map portrays the landscape within a large circular frame, while the train traveler perhaps ironically would be taking in the actual landscape through the  square frame of his train window.

In each corner of the map is a numbered list that locates features on the ground from four different points of the compass. The total locations are numbered from zero to 189  and this serves as a key to numbered locations on the map. These keys identify the mountains surrounding Mt. Washington, lodging houses, lakes, cities, towns and villages as far as Vermont, Maine and New York. The features on the summit of Mt. Washington are listed under the heading "The Summit".  Different editions of the map can be identified by the listed items. This map is the first edition.

The art work of Geo. H. Walker & Co.'s map is iconic and befits Mt. Washington commanding geological presence in the New England landscape.
1. Boston Home Journal, vol.58 No.1, 1902(p.19) in an article describing New England travel books prepared by the Boston and Maine R.R. refers to "...a new Bird's Eye View of the White Mountains from the Summit of Mt. Washington." and thus dates this map to 1902.

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