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Category: American History

Detail of Lincoln Highway from Omaha to Chicago and Philadelphia, about 1921. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

1920s Road Trip: The Lincoln Highway in Strip Maps

Posted by: Ryan Moore

The “strip maps” published by the Automobile Club of Southern California are considered a collector’s item in some circles of map enthusiasts. Strip maps once helped drivers navigate major routes and often included a list of “approved” hotels, restaurants, and auto repair stations. Their name likely stems from the narrow rectangular paper strip upon which …

Brown, red, and yellow tinted map illustration of the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, with a circular frame around them

Places in Civil War History: The Anaconda Plan and Union Victories in Tennessee

Posted by: Ed Redmond

This is part of a series of posts documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis. One of the primary strategies employed by Federal forces in weakening the Confederacy was the use of blockading fleets along the eastern and Gulf coasts of …

Brown, red, and yellow tinted map illustration of the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, with a circular frame around them

The Early Years of Alexandria, Virginia

Posted by: Ed Redmond

The city of Alexandria, Virginia traces its roots to the establishment of a tobacco inspection warehouse at the foot of current day Oronoco Street in Old Town Alexandria. The purpose of the inspection warehouse was to provide quality control over tobacco exported from the colonies to England. Instrumental to the early mapping of Alexandria was …

Map of locations of U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet (ships, planes, etc.) throughout the Pacific Ocean on December 7th, 1941.

An Inquiry into the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Posted by: Ryan Moore

In the morning hours of December 7, 1941, 76 years ago today, the Japanese Imperial Navy launched a stunning and destructive attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. On that “date which will live in infamy,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt remarked, hundreds of Japanese planes attacked in waves. Four American battleships were …

Brown, red, and yellow tinted map illustration of the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, with a circular frame around them

Powder Horn Maps of Colonial America

Posted by: Julie Stoner

I have always been interested in the colonial era of American history. I was excited to come across a unique form of cartographic artifact during this time: the powder horn map. Powder horns were made from cow or ox horn and used for carrying gunpowder. Embellishing these animal horns with maps was a popular activity …

Brown, red, and yellow tinted map illustration of the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, with a circular frame around them

Places in Civil War History: The First Battle of Bull Run

Posted by: Ed Redmond

This is part of a series of posts documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis. On July 21, 1861, Federal forces and Confederate troops converged near Manassas Junction, the junction of the Manassas Gap Railroad and the Orange and Alexandria Railroads. …

Brown, red, and yellow tinted map illustration of the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, with a circular frame around them

Places in Civil War History: The Battle of Rich Mountain

Posted by: Ed Redmond

This is part of a series of posts documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis. At the conclusion of the Civil War, the U.S. War Department published numerous detailed battlefield maps and atlases to document significant military engagements, such as those …

Brown, red, and yellow tinted map illustration of the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, with a circular frame around them

Places in Civil War History: Surveys of the Gulf Coast

Posted by: Ed Redmond

This is part of a series of posts documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis. From the early years of the Civil War, field and harbor surveys, topographic and hydrographic surveys, reconnaissances, and road traverses conducted by Federal cartographers led to …