Antique hand-colored map from Colton's Atlas of America Illustrating the Physical and Political Geography of North and South America and the West India Islands by George W. Colton, 1859. The atlas title page indicates the atlas was published by J.H. Colton and Company, but each map in the atlas says it was published by Johnson & Browning (the addresses for both Colton/Johnson & Browning are the same). This map shows the city of Boston, Massachusetts, with roads, railroads and proposed railroads, notable buildings, etc. Includes the Back Bay area before the fill but with lightly rendered streets that indicate the plan was in the works, Charlestown, East Boston, South Boston, Roxbury, East Cambridge, and parts of Somerville. In 1814, the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation was chartered to construct a milldam, which would also serve as a toll road connecting Boston to Watertown, bypassing Boston Neck. The dam prevented the natural tides from flushing sewage out to sea, creating severe sanitary and odor problems. With costs higher and power lower than expected, in the end, the project was an economic failure, and in 1857 a massive project was begun to "make land" by filling the area enclosed by the dam. Present-day Back Bay itself was filled by 1882; the project reached existing land at what is now Kenmore Square in 1890, and finished in the Fens in 1900. Colton's unique decorative border surrounds the map. The Colton firm refused to compromise quality, choosing to compete for sales in the finer quality international market rather than the inexpensive domestic one. Because of this, all maps were engraved by steel plates rather than by wax engraving which became the most common method used in the US. Very good antique condition with some tiny mild spots/foxing and signs of age. Measures approx. 16 x 13 inches to the outside of the decorative border.
Item Number: TOW717