1897 Map Depicts Original Lot Grants in New-Amsterdam


Happy birthday, New Amsterdam (1653). An engraved map from 1897 is described as follows:

Map of the Original Grants of Village Lots from the Dutch West India Company to the Inhabitants of New-Amsterdam, (Now New-York.) lying below the present line of Wall Street. Grants commencing A.D. 1642.

Click here to view a larger version.

1884 U.S. Census Maps Show Forest Trees of North America

Officially titled “Sixteen Maps Accompanying Report On Forest Trees Of North America, By C.S. Sargent, 1884,” this beautiful collection of maps-as-info-graphics produced by the U.S. Census provides a Victorian era view of forests in North America by genus of tree, density, and position. Thanks to Rebecca Onion who runs Slate’s history blog The Vault (@SlateVault) for posting this article, which contains link to high-res images for zoom-in fun.

Texas Tray Postcard

Here’s one of the stranger items I’ve stumbled upon in my dustbin diving. Apparently, you used to be able to stick a stamp on just about anything and mail it—including this aluminum Tray Postcard adorned with all of the highlights one could handle on their trip to the Lone Star State. There’s no indication of when this was created nor whether any were actually mailed or delivered to their intended recipients. Just a slice of potential postal history that managed to survive relatively unscathed.  Seen one in the wild? Or, even better, received one?

200 Years on the Grid – via AIGA.org

manhattan-grid-1811Love it or hate it, the “grid” has been a fact of life in Manhattan for 200 years. I spent 21 years of my life alternately bragging then complaining about this marvel of city planning that was once probably quite useful to those traversing the long, narrow island. Of course with any grid comes “grid-lock” and anyone who’s ever tried to cross Manhattan on four wheels has certainly experienced the fatal flaw in this boro’s design: human beings. Phil Patton’s article here provides a good historical overview along with the cultural impact the grid has had over the centuries.  Interested in viewing more old drawings and maps? Check out Vincent Virga’s Historic Maps and Views of New York, an over-sized collection of historical drawings, engravings and renderings of NYC.