Antique Map Blog
Although David H. Burr, born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1803, would eventually become one of the most important cartographers in America, he didn't start out as a mapmaker. His aspiration was to become a lawyer, which he did after attending law school and passing the New York state bar exam.
Shortly thereafter, he joined the New York State Militia and, following this, he was appointed to work under Simeon De Witt, a geographer and at the time, the Surveyor General of the State of New York. DeWitt had published a map of New York State in 1802, but it would be surpassed by his protégé, Burr, who published the Atlas of the State of New York in 1929. Antique maps by David Burr are highly sought after to this day.
Funny enough, Burr had only been hired to help survey roads in the state, but after compiling a variety of other maps, the state of New York endorsed his efforts to create a New York atlas. Burr’s 1829 Atlas of the State of New York was the second atlas of a State produced and second only to Mill’s Atlas of South Carolina in 1825.
Following this success, Burr was tapped to take a position as the official topographer for the United States Post Office Department in 1832. During this time, he maintained maps of postal routes that included roads, railways, and canals and somehow he also found time to create the New Universal Atlas, published in 1835.
However, this was only the beginning of Burr's forays into the world of surveying and cartography. After collaborating on the American Atlas with John Arrowsmith in London in 1838, Burr returned to the U.S. and was appointed to the House of Representatives as a draftsman.
He reportedly spent the next several years working with famed map publisher J. H. Colton, who was renowned for the quality of his prints produced on engraved steel-plate. During this time, he also served as a draftsman for the Louisiana Survey. Burr was then appointed as the Deputy U.S. Surveyor for the Florida Survey in 1848.
Burr's story goes on, though, as the U.S. Senate tasked him with compiling maps of previous Federal Surveys. During this time, he published his Map of the United States, 1854, which stands as his last known published work.
From there he moved west and was appointed the Surveyor General of Utah in 1855. His sons, David Augustus, Eugene, and Frederick joined him, taking up positions to work alongside him, but by 1857 the family fled the state due to threats from inhabitants unfriendly to the federal government and its agents.
Burr would go on to open a freight business, followed by a dry goods store. He eventually returned to Washington, D.C. and passed away in 1875, having been one of the most influential mapmakers of his time.
Boston may be famous for its love of baseball and beans (hence the moniker Beantown), but all you have to do is look at a vintage antique map of Boston to gain a glimpse at the long history enjoyed by this East Coast city. Today it may be the largest city in Massachusetts and the state capital, but it started [...]
New York City has been called many things: The Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, and even Gotham, although you're unlikely to find these nicknames on a vintage map of New York City. This internationally recognized paragon of business and culture, today one of the largest cities in the world, started simply enough as a [...]
Alvin Jewett Johnson, more commonly known as A. J. Johnson, was an American mapmaker and publisher born in Vermont in 1827. Johnson's notable vintage antique maps do not begin to appear until about 1854 due to the fact that he pursued other careers as a young adult before turning to map-making later in life. He started out with a [...]
Vintage antique maps by Blaeu. Also known as Joan, Jean, or John Blaeu, Johannes Blaeu was a Dutch cartographer and publisher born in Alkmaar, Netherlands in 1596. He was the son of Dutch cartographer Willem Blaeu, who himself spent years studying math and astronomy under famed astronomer Tycho Brahe.Willem Blaeu produced his own atlases of country maps and was notably [...]
Vintage antique maps of New Haven County Connecticut show that it is one of eight counties in the state of Connecticut. Located in the southern central portion of the state, was established in 1666 along with the counties of Hartford, Fairfield, and New London, all of which were the first counties in the state. Today it boasts a population of [...]
Antique maps of Hartford County show that it is distinguished as one of four original counties established in the state of Connecticut on May 10, 1666. It is currently the second largest county in CT by land area, as well as the second most populous county in the state with nearly 900,000 residents (as of the 2010 census). [...]
Niagara County, New York, located in the far western corner of the state, is probably best known as the location of Niagara Falls, a series of three waterfalls on the U.S./Canadian border that combined boast the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world. However, there's a lot more to this historic county than the beautiful, natural feature [...]
The history of Westchester County, New York is thought to date back as far as the Archaic Period (8000-2000 BCE), when early Native American tribes occupied the area. Antique maps of Westchester County show that in the 1600s the County was settled by European immigrants, as was much of the area in and around New England and New York.Although [...]
Over 150 antique maps on sale from the great masters of cartography. Savings of 25% to 50% off of regular prices. Authors such as Blaeu, Covens & Mortier, Jansson, Mercator Hondius, Sanson, Homann, Munster and more.Authentic vintage maps from the 1500’s to as young as the 1700’s available for immediate delivery. Geographic areas covered include Africa, North America, Ireland, Spain, Middle East, France, the Polar Regions and much more.If you ever wanted to add one [...]