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Social Life of Maps in America, 1750-1860$
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Martin Brückner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469632605

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469632605.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The Artisanal Map, 1750–1815

The Artisanal Map, 1750–1815

Workshops and Shopkeepers from Lewis Evans to Samuel Lewis

(p.25) Chapter 1 The Artisanal Map, 1750–1815
Social Life of Maps in America, 1750-1860

Martin Brückner

University of North Carolina Press

During the colonial and revolutionary periods, American maps emerged from a medley of artisanal workshops that were steeped in the art of pictorial printmaking. Defined by the dual status of intellectual originality and material singularity, the maps reflected the surveyor’s geodetic data, the mapmaker’s drawing and engraving skills, the printer’s work habits, and the papermaker’s competence. Addressing the preconsumer life of maps made by Lewis Evans, John Mitchell, Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, Nicholas Scull, and Samuel Lewis, this chapter explains the design and look of early American-made maps as they developed from an idea and a draft into a raw print and a preconsumer artifact. Because artisanal maps were by and large considered fair use objects, plagiarized at random, they led a double life of being at once rare original imprints and mass-produced copies.

Keywords:   colonial mapmakers, artisan culture, engraving, paper, roller-press printing, censorship, plagiarism, trompe l’oeil, Lewis Evans, Samuel Lewis

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