Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Alabama Coal & Iron Sketch

I found this charming map looking through the University of Alabama's impressive online map collection.

William Atkinson, 1872

I love the way the coal looks like spilled ink. Let's appreciate it up close.

There are lots of charming hand drawn details such as the railroad tracks and city symbols. One of the most charming things about this map is its inaccuracy. The coast of Florida dips south way too soon, as does Mississippi. Nashville is too far south. Even parts of Alabama are off. The coastal part is too wide and a bit off too. The border with Florida is too straight and the whole state seems a bit short. In an age of digital maps using common databases, this stuff is refreshing.


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