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Never-folded mid-19th century map of San Francisco by Britton and Rey.

Place/Date: San Francisco / ca. 1856
Title: Map of the City of San Francisco Published by Britton & Rey
34.3 x 39.4 cm (13.5 x 15.5 in)
Condition Rating


One of the earliest maps of San Francisco published in the city itself.

Finely detailed map of the populated areas of San Francisco, oriented to the west. The map extends west to Divisadero; south to Alta.

Since there are no folds in this copy, it was undoubtedly a separate issued. It has a neatly printed number 55 on a small piece of paper affixed in the lower margin. One interesting feature is the tracing of the original shoreline of San Francisco, showing just how much of the city is built on landfill.

Britton & Rey were located at the corner of Montgomery St. and Commercial St. between 1854 and 1858.


Britton & Rey

Joseph Britton (1825 – July 18, 1901) was a lithographer, the co-founder of prominent San Francisco lithography studio Britton and Rey, and a civic leader in San Francisco, serving as a member of the Board of Supervisors and helping to draft a new city charter.

In 1852 he became active in lithography and publishing, first under the name Pollard and Britton, and then Britton and Rey, a printing company founded with his friend and eventual brother-in-law Jacques Joseph Rey. Britton and Rey became known as the premier lithographic and engraving studio of the Gold Rush era, producing letter sheets, maps, and artistic prints.

Condition Description

Never folded. Excellent.


Peters, Harry Twyford. California on stone. 1975.

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