The Greyhound Lines, c. early 1930's

A Good Natured Map of the United States Setting forth the services of The Greyhound Lines, c. early 1930's
color lithograph
Unrestored original condition
Very good original condition, strong original colors, with original folds as found
30 × 20 inches
Sale Status: 
For Sale

            This boldly colored pictorial map of the United States published by Greyhound Lines to promote travel was most likely produced in the post depression era of the 1930's judging from the style of the buses in the illustrated cartouche surrounding the map title.  The map is a thematic map, designed to encourage the viewer to travel to the unique destinations of each American state reachable by bus. Following the Depression personal pleasures were often beyond reach. One can travel visually with this map from the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire at a lobster shack, to the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, past the Rainbow Falls near Knoxville where a large silver bus carries its passengers by the sights. The figures are cartoonish and the local patois equally informal. But the imagery conveys the distinct American culture, both city and rural and how accessible it is from the highways and other routes traveled by the Greyhound Lines, who published a series of pictorial maps and brochures into the 1940's and afterwards.

            The map is a distinct departure from 19th century American maps that tracked the building of the railroads and offered travelers a pocket guide or large shipper's map for business. This pictorial map celebrates America as a country ready for road trips and bus vacations. It pokes fun at a sputtering yellow airplane from Cuba, a sailboat interrupting the flight of seagulls and a school of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico and shows many other comic book like scenes. The imagery of traditional cartography, such as the explanatory key with the iconic Greyhound Lines greyhound in full stride, the decorative border and an elaborate compass rose with The Greyhound Lines insignia at its center all contribute to the graphic satire of this map as well as to its 20th century stylistic statement about American travel culture. A Good Natured Map of the United States is held in major collections, in rare and special collections of universities and this particular example is in the Rare Books and Special Collections of Princeton University.

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