Territory of Alaska, The Alaska Line 1936

Territory of Alaska, The Alaska Line, The All American Route Alaska Steamship Company Serving All of Alaska!, 1936
Frank McCaffrey, Author
color lithograph
Professionally conserved
Original, bright untouched lithographed colors and good overall condition, some wear at folds, light pencil notations on front by a prior owner, on reverse folds strengthened.
30.5 × 20.5 inches
Sale Status: 
For Sale

      The imagery of this Alaska Lines map is lively and uniquely characteristic of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. The border is composed of colorful wooden totem poles and the animals flanking part of the title include a raised up Alaskan seal and a big black bear. The text of the map is unabashedly proud of the natural resources and beauty of Alaska that the lower 48 has not, as of 1936 generally considered as a travel destination. There is a round inset of the Northern Hemisphere, identifying the United States and Alaska, with connecting train lines in the continental United States shown in black line and Alaska, the ultimate destination covered with a bright yellow and orange bull's eye! A large ocean liner shown in profile glides over another title block in the smooth seas of the Pacific Ocean, or the Bering Sea or the Gulf of Alaska to illustrate what a relaxing and safe journey this will be. The detail, color and imagery of the map provide strong incentives to the viewer to buy a ticket on The Alaska Line to find out about "Alaska! Awaiting popular appreciation..." as the text at the top corner of the detailed inset map of Alaska's interior  proclaims.

     The Alaska Travel Lines map is also a detailed tutorial that permits the reader to learn about the geography and settlement of Alaska, its interior routes and about its 19th century history. Even the purchase price paid by the United States is written in bold type across the top of the map.

      Published seven years after the crash of the Great Depression, this map of exotic American opportunity in the distant Northwest may also be read as encouragement to think about new frontiers and opportunity, whether the traveler holding this map yet had in hand the funds to buy the ticket.

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