The Rand-McNally Vest Pocket Map of Florida

Cartographer(s): Rand, McNally & Co.
Date: 1895
Place: Chicago
Dimensions: 71.5 x 53.5 (28 x 21 in)
Condition Rating: VG

Out of stock

SKU: NL-01125 Categories: ,

A rare pocket version of Rand, McNally and Co.’s 1895 railroad map of Florida.


This is Rand McNally’s well-known 1895 map of Florida, here in a folding pocket version rather than the by far more common atlas version. The map shows the state in its entirety, and is executed with the precision and attention to detail that already by the late 19th century had made Rand McNally one of the world’s premiere map publishers.

The map is at its core a railroad map, and over twenty lines have been plotted and labeled by use of red-overprinting. Florida was not a populous state in 1895, but it was nevertheless endowed with a relatively comprehensive rail system to connect hubs within the state and beyond. A large inset at bottom left depicts the southern portion of Florida, including the Florida Keys and the Everglades.

At Neatline, one of our favorite aspects of this map are the advertisements on the original cover, which is still attached. One promotes the novels of Marah Ellis Ryan, a popular writer at the time of this map’s publication, and who would later live among the Hopi in Arizona and become an activist for Native American culture. On the opposite side, we see an ad for Reed’s Rules: A Manual of General Parliamentary Law, for sale in cloth cover for 75 cents, or a full seal grain flexible leather for $1.25. The manual outlined significant procedural changes (the Reed Rules) that helped ensure legislative control by the majority party in Congress. Sounds a little dry, but to each his own.


Rand, McNally & Co.

In 1856, William H. Rand opened a printing shop in Chicago and two years later hired a newly arrived Irish immigrant, Andrew McNally, to work in his shop. In 1868, the two men, along with Rand’s nephew George Amos Poole, established Rand McNally & Co. and bought the Tribune’s printing business. The company initially focused on printing tickets and timetables for Chicago’s booming railroad industry, and the following year supplemented that business by publishing complete railroad guides.

The first Rand McNally map, created using a new cost-saving wax engraving method, appeared in the December 1872 edition of its Railroad Guide. Rand McNally became an incorporated business in 1873; with Rand as its president, McNally as vice president, and George Poole as treasurer.

Rand McNally published its first road map, the New Automobile Road Map of New York City & Vicinity, in 1904.

Condition Description

Visible fold lines, some separation along main folding line, and some creasing.