By: Stanley Turner
Date: 1942 (dated) Toronto
Dimensions: 26.5 x 20.25 inches (67 x 51.5 cm)
This is a dynamic and detailed pictorial map from the Imperial Oil Company showing a concise history of World War II up until 1942. Showing a chronological history of the war through color-coded labels and cartoon graphics, this map is a stunning example of wartime cartography and pictorial mapmaking.
Placed within a large half-circle in the center of the map is Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Countries are color-coded based on military control: British (red) and the Axis Powers (dark green), as well as those countries that joined the Axis (purple) and those conquered by the Axis (light green). Also shown are neutral countries in white, and in yellow, the parts of the Soviet Union not under Axis control.
Throughout the map are small illustrations detailing events of the war where they took place, with the labels for the events color-coded to identify the year in which they took place. “Mass air raids on Britain Aug 8,” for example, is coded dark red to signify 1940.
In the upper right corner is a map of the African continent with the title cartouche “Africa and Islands in the Indian Ocean - Equal Area Projection”; in the upper left corner is a map of North America, South America, and western Europe and Africa with the caption “The Battle of the Atlantic - Equal Area Projection.”
At the bottom of the map is an advertisement for Imperial Oil products. A tagline reads “Care Saves Wear” with the subtext “Lubricate Regularly… Have Tire Pressures Checked Once-a-Week.”
The opposite side of the map is a greyscale projection of the Pacific Theater, using the same type of map key as the other side. Included on this map are dotted lines linking marine routes between cities, like “Sydney to London via Cape Town 12,565 (km).” Under the heading “Indian Ocean” reads the text:
“When war blazed up in the Far East, an acute rubber shortage immediately resulted. That is why motorists are denied new tires and why the use of rubber for practically all other civilian purposes is either forbidden or restricted.”
This map is a fascinating example of World War II mapmaking, as well as mapmaking for the dual purposes of education and advertising.
Condition: Map is in A- condition, with rich coloring. The map was issued folded but has since been flattened for presentation purposes.
1932 S. Halsted St. #200 Chicago, IL 60608 | P: (312) 496 - 3622