|Rufus Blanchard — Guide Map of Chicago|
|Guide Map of Chicago
Guide Map of Chicago
Published: Chicago 1870
Medium: Hand-colored lithograph
Dimensions: 21 7/8 x 17 1/8 inches
This map depicts Chicago just a year before the Great Fire of 1871, which destroyed nearly 2,000 acres, caused $200 million in damage, and left one third of the city's inhabitants homeless. Drawn in a style especially popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the map offers a great perspective of the city which proved to be valuable to both visitors as well as permanent residents.
Rufus Blanchard was one of the most prominent map publishers in Chicago during the late nineteenth century. He opened his Chicago Map Store in 1854 and specialized in mapmaking and publishing as well as writing histories of Chicago, Cook County, and the Northwest Territories. Blanchard published the first of his many street-guides in 1857 and continued to produce quality maps until his death in 1904. Blanchard's shop still exists today and manufactures globes as the George F. Cram Company, named after his nephew and original partner.