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This “Histomap,” created by John B. Sparks, was aboriginal printed by Rand McNally in 1931. (The David Rumsey Map Collection hosts a absolutely zoomable adaptation here.) (Update: Click on the angel beneath to access at a bigger version.)
This giant, aggressive blueprint fit neatly with a trend in album book publishing of the 1920s and 1930s: the “outline,” in which ample capacity (the history of the world! every academy of philosophy! all of avant-garde physics!) were distilled into a anatomy apprehensible to the best benighted layman.
The 5-foot-long Histomap was awash for $1 and bankrupt into a blooming cover, which featured endorsements from historians and reviewers. The blueprint was advertised as “clear, vivid, and bald of elaboration,” while at the aforementioned time able of “holding you enthralled” by presenting:
The blueprint emphasizes domination, application blush to appearance how the ability of assorted “peoples” (a quasi-racial compassionate of the attributes of animal groups, absolutely accepted at the time) acquired throughout history.
This beauteous geological map of Europe was produced in 1875 by Andre Dumont, a Belgian scientist and mapmaker. The map, which folds up into a case, is composed of 24 sections.
It’s cryptic what the amplitude of the black streams is meant to indicate. In added words, if the Y arbor of the blueprint acutely represents time, what does the X arbor (marked as “relative ability of a states, nations, and empires”) represent? What’s the acceptation of “power” to the mapmaker? And did Sparks see history as a zero-sum game, in which peoples and nations would vie for shares of bound resources? Given the timing of his enterprise—he fabricated this blueprint amid two apple wars and at the alpha of a above depression—this ability able-bodied accept been his thinking.
Sparks followed up on the success of this Histomap by publishing at atomic two more: the Histomap of adoration (which I’ve been clumsy to acquisition online) and the Histomap of evolution.
Update, April 29, 2015: This column has been adapted for clarity.
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