No. I. Map of the City of Washington Showing Location of Fatal Cases of Zymotic Diseases for the Year Ending in June 30, 1900
By: Unknown Photo-Lithograph by: Norris Peters Co.
Date: 1900 (published) Washington D.C.
Dimensions: 28 x 28 inches (71 x 71 cm)
This is a chilling antique map of Washington D.C. showing the fatal cases of Zymotic diseases for the year 1900. "Zymotic disease" was a 19th-century medical term for acute infectious diseases, that especially represented fevers and contagious diseases. This particular map focuses on Typhoid (identified with a blue symbol) and Malarial (identified with a red symbol) fevers.
Typhoid fever first surfaced in 1880 and while the first vaccine for the disease was developed in 1886, the disease remained a major health concern for decades to follow. The most notorious carrier of typhoid fever, but by no means the most destructive, was Mary Mallon, known as Typhoid Mary. In 1907, she became the first carrier in the United States to be identified and traced. She was a cook in New York, who was associated with 53 cases and three deaths.
While the parasite that produces Malaria has been in existence for nearly 100,000 years the population size of the parasite did not increase until about 10,000 years ago, concurrently with advances in agriculture and the development of human settlements. The disease is most common in tropical regions where mosquitos are the primary carrier. For a city like Washington D.C. however that experiences humid summers, the disease was an annual threat to the population in the years surrounding the printing of this map.
This map was drawn upon previous statistical maps produced in an effort to present large-scale improvements in the infrastructure of the city in the late 1800s. Such maps were drawn on an identical scale and layout of Washington D.C. changing only the legend and colored symbols to match the statistics presented. Above the title is a full list of avenues names along with their width in feet.
This map and its counterparts offer a unique glimpse into the state of development in the Capitol of the United States at the turn of the 20th Century.
Condition: This map is in B+ condition, originally issued folding with some separations along the fold lines. The map has been professionally linen-backed with any fold separations filled in by an artist's hand.
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