It’s no secret that I have a terrible weakness for maps. Today I came across The Sun’s Guide to New York (1892), which is stuffed to the gills with fantastic maps of the kind you often see in very old manuscripts. Not quite to scale, some but not all buildings done in something approximating three dimensions, lots of things labeled. Now, 1892 is a little late for the novels I’m working on, but these maps are too good to pass over.
There are about ten sets of two-page maps. Below is the first one (click for the full size image), of the southern most part of Manhattan. You’ll note that the Statue of Liberty is on this map, but she wasn’t there in 1883 (which is when The Gilded Hour is set). There are a lot of other differences between 1883 and 1892, but all in all these maps are extremely useful.
The Sun was one of the city’s major newspapers in this time period. Lots of self-referential advertising in the volume, which is a whopping 540 pages long. I’m going to see if I can locate a hard copy so I scan the maps at a high resolution.
Am I entirely alone in my delight with this?
No, I like a good map. We had a very old (circa 1900) atlas in our basement and I use to pour over the now non existent countries.