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A New Yorker's Idea of the United States of America, By: Daniel Wallingford 1939

1939 A New Yorker's Idea of the United States of America

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By: Daniel K. Wallingford

Date: 1939 (published) New York

Dimensions: 11.5 x 16 inches (29.2 x 40.5 cm)

A fanciful and humorous map of the United States, crafted from the skewed perspectives that New Yorkers held about the rest of the country. This map entices with its delightful blend of humor and satire, featuring place names that are intentionally inaccurate in terms of their actual geographic locations. The whimsical presentation serves as a testament to the perceived lack of interest that New Yorkers had for the broader expanse of the country, around the time of the 1939 World's Fair.

The skewed nature of the map is immediately apparent with regards to the general shape of the United States. Looking closer, we find it replete with inaccurate locations of cities, states, rivers, and lakes.

For example, the order of Great Lakes from east to west is as follows; Lake Ontario, Lake Champlain, Lake Louise, Lake Michigan (as Lake Huron), Lake Superior (as Lake Michigan), and Great Salt Lake (as Lake Superior). Furthermore, the cities of Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul are found in Illinois which is in the place of Indiana whereas Minneapolis and Indianapolis are dubbed "the Twin Cities," and located in southeast Michigan.

In the south, we fin Nashville in Florida and four Swanee Rivers. Florida is oversized and the only state with Palm Trees (or any trees for the matter), suggesting its importance to New Yorkers as a winter haven. In the west, Nevada is a city in the state of Reno, Yellowstone Park is in Colorado, Wyoming is a city of Montana located just above Oregon and Washington (which are flipped), and California is bordered on the north and south by the states of San Francisco and Hollywood.

The vignettes and text boxes are also of interest. In the lower right, elements of the city are depicted in a sleek and grand manner suggesting a sophistication to the modern city of New York. Head to the left of the title (or west) and we are met with an emigrant horse-drawn wagon with an oxen and pack mule, roaming through a barren and ominous landscape. At top right, text boxes explain the motivation behind the map and the humorous / ignorant things New Yorkers may say concerning the rest of the country.

This map has many states and variations. This example is printed on heavy, tan, semi-glossy paper. It references the 1939 New York World's Fair and shows a copyright location of the Columbia University Bookstore, New York.

Condition: Map is in B condition with some waviness and adhesive remnants from old tape along the outside margins. The piece would frame nicely as is.

Inventory #12700

1200 W. 35th Street #425 Chicago, IL 60609 | P: (312) 496 - 3622

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