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UnConformity Vintage Maps

1891 Topographic Map of New Orleans Louisiana

1891 Topographic Map of New Orleans Louisiana

Regular price $210.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $210.00 USD
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We really love this understated 36" x 44" topographic map of New Orleans from 1891, created by the fledgling United States Geological Survey under its second director, the famous John Wesley Powell. 

While it's true, there is not much topography for a topographic map to depict, the map effectively captures NOLA's surroundings, especially to the south, including Lake Catatouche and Lake Salvador, Bayou Couba Island, and the many bayous extending between these lakes and the Mississippi River. Swamplands are depicted by an illustrated stippling that would become the standard for USGS depiction of marshland, and its artistic simplicity likely belies the adventures the USGS surveyors must have endured to produce an accurate survey of this terrain. 

The map captures portions of the Mississippi River from Kennerville (now Kenner) to Jesuit Bend (near present day Jesuit Bend Park), as well as the five different railroads that serviced New Orleans in 1891. The City of New Orleans itself is depicted by its detailed street-grid but without other annotation. The USGS used a darker outline for densely-developed street-blocks, which is a brilliantly-simple method for depicting rather complex information about a cityscape. 

The map is printed on Arches BFK Rives 100% Cotton Rag paper, handmade at the Blanchet Frères & Kléber paper mill in Rives, France on a traditional cylinder paper mould. On a map with so many blank spaces, the beauty in the randomly-arranged fiber texture really shines through on this map, and lends it a simplicity and maturity that is very aesthetically pleasing and surprisingly refined. 

* NOTE: This is a carefully crafted print of the highest quality, but it is not the original work.

**About our Dark Poplar & Antique Brass Hanging Frames

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  • Shipping

    Free shipping on every product. Maps and frames ship via UPS Ground in a bombproof custom map tube. Map prints ship within 10 business days, prints plus frames ship within 15 business days.

  • Returns

    If you're unsatisfied with your print for any reason, return it to us within 6 months, undamaged and in the original shipping tube, 100% free. ...But we're pretty sure you'll be satisfied.