Biographies of Some of the More Famous Cartographers
“The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure: Containing news, letters, debates, poetry, musick, biography, history, geography, voyages, criticism, transactions, philosophy, mathematicks, husbandry, gardening. cooking, chemistry, mechanics, trade, navigation, architecture, and other arts and sciences; which may render it instructive and entertaining to gentry, merchants, farmers, and tradesmen. To which occasionally will be added, an impartial account of books in several languages, and of the state of learning in Europe; also of the stage, new opera’s, plays, and oratio’s.”
The Universal Magazine was published monthly in London and contained some of the most attractive of all magazine maps, often incorporating decorative title cartouches and occasionally executed in wash colour. The number of plates in other magazines of the period increased greatly in competitive response to those plates being produced in the Universal Magazine. Many of the maps found therein were engraved by the renowned and skilled Richard Seale.
US COASTAL SURVEY
Ferdinand R Hassler, one of the originators of the Geodetic Survey of Switzerland and later a professor of mathematics at West Point, was appointed the first Superintendent of the US Coastal Survey when it was founded in 1807. Delayed by the war and by difficulties in obtaining adequate surveying instruments, actual surveying of the coasts it not get underway until 1816, when Hassler began his work on the New York triangulation network. His objective was to place coastal charting on a scientific basis by first undertaking carefully planned surveys that were interconnected through triangulation networks. These networks were to be controlled by geodetically determined points located along the coasts. Although the Coast Survey was temporarily discontinued shortly after Hassler’s first triangulation chart was published, surveying activities resumed under his direction in 1832.
The first nautical chart was printed in 1839, a lithograph of New York Bay. Alexander Dallas Bache, great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, succeeded Hassler in 1843 and issued the first copperplate engraved chart in 1844, a detailed six plate engraving of New York Harbour and vicinity, and it already symbolized the artistic and elegant character of the charts produced by the Coast Survey.
From 1844 to 1905 all ‘finished’ charts were printed from engraved copperplates, while ‘preliminary’ charts, those brought out as quickly as possible following a survey to meet the urgent needs of navigators, were either engraved or, after photolithography was developed, printed using that process.
To maintain the high quality of technical craftsmanship, the Coast Survey imported chart paper and copperplates from Europe and, from 1842 to 1854, master engravers as well who trained American apprentices.
Seymour I Schwartz and Ralph E Ehrenberg, “The Mapping of America”.
Further information about many of these cartographers may be found in the volumes of Tooley's Dictionary - an invaluable addition to any map collection or single item.