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Bancroft’s iconic Blue-line map of San Francisco

Place/Date: San Francisco / 1873
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Title: Bancroft’s Official Guide Map of the City and County of San Francisco, Compiled from Official Sources in Surveyor’s Office…1873
Technique
Lithograph
Dimensions
73.5 x 61 cm (29 x 24 in)
Identifier
NL-00583
Coloring
Blue lines
Condition Rating
VG
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Description

Early blue-line example of Bancroft’s important pocket map of San Francisco covering the northern top of the San Francisco Peninsula from the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay and as far south as Rancho Canada de Guadeloupe. Bancroft employs shading to indicate developed and undeveloped blocks. At the bottom of the map there is a numerical key wherein some 376 individual buildings are located and categorized. Concentric circles on the map indicate half-mile distances from the ferries. Development extends as far as the race track. Rancho Laguna de la Merced, San Miguel Rancho, and Rancho Cañada de Guadalupe Rodeo Viejo y Vistación are at this point undeveloped. An inset map in the right details the greater San Francisco Bay area.

This map was first published in 1871 and enjoyed an immediate popularity. Revised editions appeared in 1873, 1877, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1887 (present copy), and 1891. Some editions feature a light blue outline of the landfill in eastern San Francisco. Sally Woodbridge speculates that ‘it was not part of the original base map but was added because of special interest at the time.’

Today all examples of Bancroft’s San Francisco are highly desirable as the finest map of San Francisco available during that city’s most expansive period of development.

Cartographer(s)

Condition Description

Toning and some loss along folds.

References

Rumsey 2742.000 (1891 edition), 3371.002 (1887 edition). Phillips (Maps) p.777. Huntington Library 15238 (1889). Woodbridge, S., San Francisco in Maps and Views, page 80-81. Boston Public Library, Leventhal Center, G4364.S5 1873 .A422, G4364.S5 1873 .A42, G4364.S5 1877 .A42, G4364.S5 1881 .A42. Clark, H., A Venture in History, p. 9

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