By: Alexander K. Johnston
Date: 1856 (published) Edinburgh
Dimensions: 20 x 24 inches (51 x 61 cm)
This striking map focuses on vegetation and its occurence at varying altitudes throughout the world. Its full title is Geographical distribution of indigenous vegetation. The distribution of plants in a perpendicular direction in the torrid, temperate and frigid zones, with indications of the mean temperature of the year and of the coldest and warmest months. It is from the second edition of Johnston's Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena, published out of Edinburgh by William Blackwood & Sons in 1856.
The full title of the map describes what the map illustrates. Plant species and zones of the earth are shown on the map, along with the names of the explorers who discovered the plants at the various zones This information is colour coded to match the coloured regions of the map. Johnston labels regions in broad terms, such as Enormous Forests of Conifers, for an area covering most of western Europe and what was then the Russian Empire. The terms Willows, Conifers and Deciduous Timber Trees are used to further detail large areas. The labels Trees With Large & Beautifully Formed Leaves, and Trees With Dull & Rigid Leaves, are used to label large swathes of topography.
Johnston uses mountain ranges and peaks such as the Andes, the Alps and Pyrenees, the Himalayas, etc., to depict varieties of plants at varying altitudes. With illustrations showing forms of plants, as well as a chart showing the distribution of plants by height above sea level, the map provides much information in one folio sheet.
Alexander Keith Johnston's Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena was amongst the most comprehensive geographic works focusing on natural science of its day. Johnston described the motivations and focus of his work in the preface as follows; The object originally contemplated in this work was to present, in a graphic form, a concise yet comprehensive view of the Physical Geography of the Globe, embracing under that term its superficial structure, the movements of its aerial and oceanic currents, and the distribution of organized existence on its surface.
Accompanying the map is the original letterpress description from the atlas, which discusses in detail the methodology, science, and theory that went into the cartographic work.
Condition: Map is in A+ condition presenting an attractive and vivid imprint on heavy paper with full margins on all sides.
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