Map of the Track of the Tornado of April 30th 1852 From Golconda Illinois, to Wabash River Across Indiana & the Ohio River to Georgetown Kentucky, U.S...
By: John Chappelsmith
Date: 1853 (published)
Dimensions: 20 x 28.5 inches (51 x 72.5 cm)
This is an intriguing map of the first scientific study of a tornado, illustrating its path and some of the destruction left behind. The tornado touched down in Golconda, Illinois and made its way some 250 miles across southern Indiana, passing by Evansville and Louisville Kentucky before terminating near Georgetown Kentucky.
The map is focused on an area in southern Illinois where Plank Road connects the towns of New Harmony and Mount Vernon. It shows hundreds if not thousands of individual trees that have been uprooted and/or toppled over, noting the root and branch sides of the trees and whether or not they lay in piles. The process of plotting this out would have been most arduous without the use of modern aerial imagery. A smaller map in the lower right shows the entire track of the tornado.
As previously stated, Chappelsmith's map marks the first documented scientific study of a tornado weather phenomenon. The top portion features three illustrated figures of broken and uprooted and twisted trees, which play an important role as first conclusive proof that tornadoes are an inward, upward, and onward moving column of air. The map also includes structures belonging to individual land owners that had been carried some distance from their original location.
This map comes with a pamphlet report explaining the parameters of the research and its finding in great detail. The overall work is exceptionally unique in its subject matter and should be a nice addition to any collection of storm chasers, meteorologists or weather enthusiasts.
Condition: The map is in B+ condition, originally issued folding, now flattened with any fold separations reinforced on the verso with archival materials.
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