Thomas Cowperthwait & Co., a Philadelphia-based publishing company, emerged as a pivotal player in the American atlas and map publishing scene during the early to mid-nineteenth century. Initially established as a school publisher, the company expanded its portfolio to include a wide range of geographic materials. Their notable publications included Tanner’s New Universal Atlas, and they significantly contributed to the edition of Mitchell’s atlas post-1850.

The company’s operational period, particularly active between 1849 and 1854, was marked by a series of complex partnerships and business transformations, with the Cowperthwait name appearing on various publications. One of their key works, the “Philadelphia 1846” atlas, underscores their capacity for producing detailed geographic documents. Their activities encompassed both retail and wholesale book distribution, indicating a diverse business model.

The legacy of Thomas Cowperthwait & Co. is integral to understanding the evolution of map and atlas publishing in the United States, reflecting a crucial era of educational and cartographic advancement.

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